Soriano may soon see work at first base

Soriano may soon see work at first base

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alfonso Soriano brought a first baseman's glove to camp this spring, just in case, and the Yankees are strongly considering giving him an opportunity to wear it.

Manager Joe Girardi said that the Yankees are looking for ways to increase Soriano's versatility. He started on Friday in right field, and though there has no been date set to begin working on it, Girardi indicated that Soriano could help the Yankees this season as a backup first baseman.

"He's played infield. It'll give us a chance to DH someone besides one of our outfielders at times," Girardi said. "I think he's athletic enough to do it. He's played that side of the infield before; shorter throw."

Girardi said that the team did not give any thought to having Soriano work out as a reserve option at second base, where the veteran has played 766 big league games -- but none since 2009.

"No, that really never crossed our mind," Girardi said.

The Yankees have talked about slotting Kelly Johnson as their backup first baseman, and Girardi said that Johnson should get a start at first base this weekend. But Johnson also is being looked at as the possible Opening Day third baseman, and the Yankees do not plan on carrying a strict backup first baseman this year.

"It's just having more flexibility more than anything else," Girardi said. "Since we don't really have one DH, [playing Soriano at first base] allows us to DH more people. We can do that."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for 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.