MESA, Ariz. -- Add catcher Hank Conger to the ever-growing list of Angels players trying their hand at first base this spring.
Conger has sparingly taken ground balls at first base the last two years and saw his first ever game action there while playing the last two innings on Monday. He joins designated hitter Raul Ibanez (two regular-season innings at first base since 2005), right fielder Kole Calhoun (40 professional games since being drafted in 2010) and potential backup infielder Ian Stewart (zero career Major League games at first) as potential backups to Albert Pujols.
"It's just really to look for a little versatility and some depth," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Conger. "Obviously he's going to catch a lot for us, but he has played first before and he has good hands."
Conger, expected to get less playing time behind the plate than Chris Iannetta, has worked a handful of times on ground balls and pitchers' fielding practice on the back fields this spring and feels he can play it in a Major League game if the Angels get in a bind.
"I guess it's just kind of like an emergency," Conger said. "I'm not imagining getting a bunch of starts over there or anything just to get more at-bats."
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.