MILWAUKEE -- After leading National League rookies last year with a .309 batting average and hitting .362 in Spring Training, right-handed-hitting utility man Jordan Pacheco finds himself having to be ready even though it isn't certain when the at-bats will come.
Pacheco, 27, did not have a chance to bat in Monday's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Brewers. It looks like his starts will come at first base when Todd Helton needs a rest, and manager Walt Weiss said he will appear behind the plate more than the five times he did last year. Pacheco was the third baseman when Chris Nelson was injured last season, and could be thrown into the outfield because the team is carrying just four outfielders.
"My role is definitely a little bit different this year," Pacheco said. "I just want to help this ballclub out, whenever I get an at-bat, whether it's a situational at-bat or just getting on base."
Pacheco said he talked with veteran Jason Giambi, now with the Indians, and teammate Eric Young Jr. about pinch-hitting and is studying for those opportunities.
"You've got to know what pitcher is out there," Pacheco said. "It's a little bit different doing your homework on the guys that are coming in to face you. Talking to Giambi and E.Y., who was successful last year, about how they approach it is only going to help me."
Weiss will try to be creative, believing Pacheco can handle multiple situations.
"He's got a tough job," Weiss said. "Being that guy who can do everything, you're asked to do some difficult things. We're trying to create options for him. He's such a good hitter, we've got to find ways to get him in the box."
Pacheco was a shortstop at the University of New Mexico and a catcher in the Minors, but he has made dramatic strides at first base.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.