0

Duluth grad Green getting shot with Marlins this spring

Miami Marlins' Nick Green throws during an intrasquad spring training baseball game Sunday, March 4, 2012, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Miami Marlins' Nick Green throws during an intrasquad spring training baseball game Sunday, March 4, 2012, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nick Green is again a non-roster spring invitee trying to make a major league team, just like he has been most of the past half-dozen or so years.

There is one difference, though. At least the Duluth graduate and Lawrenceville resident isn't trying to win over yet another new team.

The dismantling of the Marlins actually worked in Green's favor. The infielder re-signed with Miami after originally declaring free agency and is getting plenty of playing time as he competes for a job.

The Marlins' utilityman will have to be able to back up young shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and new Miami manager Mike Redmond likes what he has seen of Green there.

"He looks comfortable," Redmond said after the Marlins played the Braves at Champion Stadium last Sunday. "That's really his natural position."

Actually, Green has had to readjust a little. Although he was Boston's regular shortstop for most of the 2009 season, he has mostly played second or third base in more recent major league stints.

"Perry Hill has really helped me a lot," Green said of the Miami infield and first base coach.

Green, 34, played the entire game at shortstop against the Braves last weekend and had a hit. He came in late for Hechavarria when the teams played in Jupiter on Wednesday night.

For the spring, Green is batting .217 with two doubles in 13 Grapefruit League games. Not good, but not so bad certainly to knock him out of competition for a shot at making the opening day roster.

"We've got a lot of players we're looking at for that backup role and all of them are getting a chance to play," Redmond said.

Miami became Green's eighth major league team and 12th organization last year. He was called up by the Marlins after hitting .344 with 12 homers in 63 games for Class AAA New Orleans and was getting regular playing time at second and third before an injury to his left thumb suffered Aug. 12 eventually ended his season.

Green hasn't spent a full year in the majors since 2009 with Boston and his best season at the plate remains his rookie year with the Braves in 2004, when he hit .273 in 95 games. He had to have back surgery after the 2009 season with the Red Sox and has bounced around since.

Green has played parts of seven seasons in the majors with Rays, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers and Blue Jays in addition the the Braves and Marlins.

"As long as someone will give me a chance, I'll keep playing," Green said. "I'm not ready to hang it up."