Who's on first? Lately, it's been Jimenez

Who's on first? Lately, it's been Jimenez

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Luis Jimenez got a gift from Albert Pujols on Thursday morning: His very own first base mitt.

Jimenez didn't have one, because basically all he's done since joining the Angels organization in 2006 is play third base. But he needed one, because Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been giving him looks there to open up his options.

Jimenez has only spent seven innings at the position this spring, and he'll go back to third base if he starts the season at Triple-A, which is the likely scenario.

But a little added versatility can't hurt, especially for a guy with no clear path to the big leagues.

"You have to do what they ask," said Jimenez, ranked sixth in the Angels' system by MLB.com.

"I can't say I feel comfortable. I'm just trying to do the best I can because I'm not familiar with first base. But little by little, I can get it. I just have to keep working."

The biggest adjustment for Jimenez, who played just one inning at first base in his Minor League career, is learning his assignment on cutoff plays. The 25-year-old had a solid season at Triple-A last year, batting .309 with 16 homers, 85 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 122 games.

But Alberto Callaspo is slated to be the third baseman over the next two years and Kaleb Cowart, ranked first in the Angels system, is slated to take over thereafter.

Versatility seems to be Jimenez's only chance to crack the big leagues with the Angels.

"You never know," he said.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.