Crabbe makes second straight start

Crabbe makes second straight start

PHOENIX -- The purpose of the pregame workout is so that position players can take batting practice, an exercise that typically doesn't warrant an accelerated heartbeat.

But that's not how Callix Crabbe views it, though, as the rookie utilityman, who got his second start in as many days on Saturday against Arizona, has his own specific plan for what he wants to accomplish.

Here's a hint: It involves a lot of sweating.

"What I do in pregame when I'm not starting is I tire myself out so much taking ground balls everywhere and then I go to the outfield to take some fly balls. I try to my sure my legs don't feel fresh when I'm done," Crabbe said.

"When I'm done, I'm sweating ... soaking wet."

Crabbe has had to curtail his pregame work -- which includes batting practice and ground balls at second base, shortstop and third base -- Friday when he made his first big league start at second base. On Saturday, he was at shortstop to give Khalil Greene a rest.

Crabbe went 0-for-4 in the Padres' 9-0 loss to the Diamondbacks and starting pitcher Dan Haren on Friday, though he flew out to deep right field in his first at-bat. He later squared up a fly ball to left field.

Crabbe entered Saturday's game hitting .100, his lone hit coming on April 8 against the Giants.

"It's not a part of my game, but I do have the ability to drive balls into the gaps. When I get the opportunity to do it, I try and take good aggressive swings. I put the ball in play like I wanted to," Crabbe said.

Crabbe spoke with hitting coach Wally Joyner before Saturday's game about approach while at the plate, and that just because Crabbe has above-average speed doesn't mean that he has to always have to hit the ball on the ground to take advantage of that speed.

"You look at guys like Rafael Furcal, even though they're little -- and I hate using that word, little -- they have some pop to their game," Crabbe said.

"The guys in the big leagues are superior defensive players so if you hit the ball on the ground, there's a good chance they'll make the play."

San Diego manager Bud Black was impressed with Crabbe's defense at second base on Saturday. He penciled Crabbe in at shortstop Saturday and a start at third base for Kevin Kouzmanoff -- the only Padres player to start every game this season -- could come as soon as Monday in Houston.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.