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Monday, February 21, 2011
What Michael Young must learn at 1B

By Richard Durrett

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Michael Young was on the field early on Monday getting in some work with infield coach Dave Anderson.

Young borrowed Chris Davis' glove and started the process of learning a position he's never played before -- first bases. Anderson isn't worried about Young's athleticism and ability to handle the spot. But there are a few things Young is working on:

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Richard Durrett joins Ben and Skin from Surprise, Ariz. Richard describes the vibe around Michael Young and gives us an update on Brandon Webb.

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* The biggest job of a first baseman is to receive balls from the infield. "We're going to spend a lot of time on that," Anderson said. "The important thing from the throws from the pitcher is to feel comfortable at first base. For a right-handed throwing first baseman, it's a backhand catch. People don't realize how difficult that is sometimes if you haven't done it before. Getting him into a position where he's comfortable is what we're working on.

* Footwork around the bag. "That's a big thing for the throws from the infielders," Anderson said. "That's getting to the bag early so you can make adjustments, getting your feet in the right spot and then having the proper footwork to receiving the ball. If the ball is in the dirt, it's a whole different ball of wax and some things you've got to do. So that's what we're going to spend most of our time on."

* Fielding ground balls and throwing. "That's not going to be difficult for him," Anderson said. "He's had to turn and throw balls for double plays and it's basically the same thing."

* Cutoffs and relays. "That's a matter of knowing where to go," Anderson said. "You just have to get used to where you need to be."