Matt McBride Is Still Figuring Out This Whole “Playing The Outfield” Thing

Remember the story of Jeanmar Gomez, the pitcher in the Cleveland system who pitched a perfect game a couple weeks ago?  He cruised until the ninth inning, when the leadoff hitter ripped a sinking liner to left.  Only a diving play by Matt McBride saved the gem.

There was a story about McBride in The Morning Call of Allentown, PA this morning that goes a long way toward explaining just how amazing that play was (strangely, without directly referencing the perfect game).

McBride was drafted by the Indians in 2006 as a catcher, and a good one.  His labrum wasn’t so good, however, and he ended up missing most of last season recovering from surgery.  This year, he is attempting to improve his value by learning to play the outfield and first base.  That story linked above actually begins with the tale of a play he didn’t make:

The ball off the bat of Reading’s Mike Spidale flared into no-man’s land in shallow left field, where Akron’s left fielder, center fielder, and shortstop converged at full speed.

The two outfielders, Matt McBride and Jose Costanza, got there at the same time, colliding as the ball rolled away for a triple during Monday night’s Eastern League game at FirstEnergy Stadium.

According to coaches, he’s working hard at the transition.  I’m sure no one is more appreciative of his efforts than Jeanmar Gomez.

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