The Tampa Bay Rays are renowned for both their continued ability to make chicken salad out of replacement-level refuse and their uncommon flexibility, playing multiple players at multiple positions in search of a tiny edge. The Rays current roster features seven players who with big league innings at shortstop under their belt.
When the Rays took the field against the Toronto Blue Jays today, they did so with Ben Zobrist as their starting shortstop, the first action of any kind Zobrist has seen at the position since 2009. A savvy move by the Rays, keeping Zobrist’s valuable bat in the lineup when they have a fly ball pitcher on the hill.
The Rays are an extreme case but it is important to remember: nearly all big leaguers were shortstops at one point. In Little League, in Pony League, high school, college whatever. The vast majority played short and pitched and hit .800 for the majority of their baseballing lives.