ANAHEIM -- Entering Spring Training, J.B. Shuck looked like a long shot to make the team -- and then he cracked the Opening Day roster. Twelve days into the season, he was on his way back to the Minor Leagues because the Angels needed an extra infielder, only to be called up the next day when Erick Aybar was placed on the disabled list.
Now, with Peter Bourjos sidelined indefinitely with a left hamstring strain, Shuck is essentially an everyday left fielder.
"It's fun to play every day, but you never want to see a guy go down, and you don't want to get a spot like that," said Shuck, the former Astros outfielder who was obtained on a Minor League contract this offseason. "My job is to do what they need me to do. Right now, it's to fill in for Pete."
And Shuck has done so admirably so far, with five hits in 13 at-bats. In Friday's 4-0 win over the Orioles, the 25-year-old left-handed hitter went 2-for-3 with a bunt single and showed off his solid speed and that short, compact swing that made him so appealing to the Angels out of Spring Training.
"To me, the shorter the swing, the easier it is to take a few days off and be able to come back," said Shuck, who's generously listed at 5-foot-11. "My job is just to get on base, so that helps in that way, too."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.