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Brent Lillibridge making an impression

3/6/2014

Brent Lillibridge deals in reality. The utility man knows his odds to win a spot on this Texas Rangers team. But it hasn’t deterred him.

"For a guy in my situation, you need to have some results," Lillibridge said this week. "It's tough. You hope that the coaches see your approach and how you're going about your business.

"I'm pleased with my start. I just have to keep it going. I know it's an outside chance for a non-roster [invitee to spring training], but I truly believe I have the skills to be a quality bench guy in the big leagues and hoping to continue to prove that."

So far, Lillibridge is making an impression. He's 4-for-9 with a homer and three RBIs in Cactus League games, and he has shown that he's solid with the glove, too.

"He’s been doing a good job," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's been working hard, trying to improve his game. He always -- when he walked to the plate -- he was a guy that could hurt you. You just couldn’t throw the baseball up there; you’d have to work.

"So far, I see great improvement in his defense, and I think his defense is improving because he's been working. I don’t think he's shocked by anything.

Lillibridge believes the sessions are paying off and credits the manager for getting him to focus on some key fundamentals that he was lacking, because he has played so many positions and bounced around the diamond.

"He's been wearing me out with my legs and it's been really good," Lillibridge said. "He's been on me about how to catch the ball and what I'm doing. It's really benefited me.

"You've got to be centered, legs under you and in a balanced position. That's what he's concentrated on with me. You have to be in a good, strong position to make the play and a good throw. If you're going to second, make sure you get that out and let the guy at second speed it up for the double play."

Lillibridge said he has played "every position but pitcher and catcher" in his career and he hopes that versatility helps him in his quest to make the club. He has played at least 30 games at all three outfield positions and all four infield positions. He has played the most at second base.

"I'm just going to keep working hard," Lillibridge said. "That's all I can do."