TAMPA, Fla. -- If you're drawing up the Yankees' depth chart right now, Kelly Johnson is the safest bet to be the starting third baseman. He's also the backup second baseman, the backup first baseman, and you may also see him in left field.
Suffice it to say, Johnson is going to be a busy man over the next six weeks. He said that he brought three different gloves to Spring Training and plans to be prepared for whatever manager Joe Girardi throws his way.
"It's whatever they need," Johnson said. "The positions I've played so far -- between the outfield, third, second and first -- are places I have experience at. I'm open and willing and preparing to play all of those."
When Johnson first started discussing a contract with the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez's suspension appeal was not final. Even so, Johnson assumed that third base would be an area where the Yankees were going to need his help.
"Had [Rodriguez] been here right now on Day 1, he's obviously going to be the starter and going to play there, but there's also going to be times when he would have DH'ed," Johnson said. "So in my head, if that's what I'm thinking about, I'm thinking I'm still going to get some games there and I still need to get my work in."
Johnson has played just 16 big league games at third base, all last season with the Rays, but he is familiar with the left side of the infield after being drafted as a shortstop. Johnson plans to continue working with infield coach Mick Kelleher to get more comfortable at the hot corner between now and Opening Day.
"I feel really good," Johnson said. "It's Spring Training, so I'm coming and getting the work in for April 1. I like that side of the field. I was a shortstop coming up my whole life, and have since moved to the other side to second, so the angle I'm familiar with and that side of the field I'm familiar with."