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Overbay's exposure to outfield a work in progress

Overbay's exposure to outfield a work in progress

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Overbay's exposure to outfield a work in progress

OAKLAND -- Joe Girardi tempted fate before Tuesday night's game against the Athletics when he noted that Lyle Overbay had been flawless in his first three games playing right field in the big leagues.

Though no error was charged, Overbay's inexperience showed in the second inning of the Yankees' 6-4 loss as the longtime first baseman allowed Derek Norris' soft double to fall between him, second baseman Robinson Cano and first baseman Mark Teixeira, driving in Oakland's second run.

Girardi said that he is not rethinking the experiment of having Overbay play the outfield, an avenue to keep him active on the roster now that Teixeira has reclaimed first base.

"It's something new for him, that's the bottom line," Girardi said. "There is a learning curve. We expect that he can make it pretty quickly. He'll make the adjustments."

Overbay, 36, was drafted as an outfielder by the D-backs but converted to first base early in his Minor League career, playing just 30 professional games in the outfield before this season.

He has been working with third-base coach Rob Thomson on positioning and various scenarios, and said that his mistake was not taking into account how challenging of a play Norris' bloop presented for Cano from second base.

"I didn't think that I could catch it, so I figured, let Robbie try," Overbay said. "I think if I had it all over again, he was playing up the middle so I should've known that he wasn't going to have a chance to get it. Maybe I could lay out or something. I knew I couldn't get it, so I was kind of hoping he might have a chance."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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