02/18/2013 8:34 PM ET
Pacheco putting in extra work after practice
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The morning dew is one of those pleasures of life for those who stop to enjoy it. No doubt the Rockies' Jordan Pacheco appreciates nature, but it does make for a little longer day.
Pacheco, who led National League rookies last season with a .309 batting average, reported to camp with the pitchers and catchers and has stayed with them during the first couple of full-squad workouts. However, last season he appeared in 82 games defensively at third base, 43 at first base and just five behind the plate.
The Rockies are looking to work Pacheco into the catching mix more, but Pacheco knows it's smart to put in the work at the spots he has played more often at the big league level. That means extra work either before or after practice.
"Right now, it's going to be afterward because the fields are a little wet in the mornings," Pacheco said. "I'm not going to try to overdo it, but do enough where I feel comfortable at the positions if I have to go play them."
As Monday's workout was ending, Pacheco shed his catcher's gear, grabbed his fielder's mitt and looked for someone to hit him ground balls. Fellow third baseman Chris Nelson, himself looking for some extra work with the bat, obliged. The first one bounced off the heel of Pacheco's glove and careened away. Both laughed.
"I'm a catcher, bro," Pacheco quipped.
The next one Pacheco handled with smooth style.
"Got your groove back now," Nelson shouted.
Pacheco said he is often asked what his favorite position is, but he doesn't contemplate the question. Even with his success last year, he is more concerned that he'll receive a big league uniform when the regular season starts.
"They haven't told me anything yet," Pacheco said. "I still have to make the team. I have to show them I can play at this level, and prove to my teammates that I can help this team win. If I don't, I don't deserve to be on the team."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.