Troy Glaus made his first start of the season at third base in what could have been the Braves final game of the year.
He was pressed into emergency duty for Game 4 Monday night, after Brooks Conrad committed three errors in Game 3 and manager Bobby Cox had little choice but to pencil Glaus in at third base and move Omar Infante to second.
Glaus had played third base for the first 12 years of his career but this season he’d played only four innings – two as a defensive replacement on Sept. 8 at Pittsburgh and two in extra innings on Friday night in Game 2 in San Francisco after entering the game in a double-switch.
Glaus was signed to play first base and played first for the first 4 ½ months of the season before offensive struggles and injuries to his knees and ankles prompted the Braves to trade for first baseman Derrek Lee.
“He has played third,” said Cox, whose only other options were Eric Hinske who hasn’t played third base all season or rookie Diory Hernandez, a natural shortstop, who has played only twice in the past three weeks and sparingly at that. “He played third at Gwinnett for a week, two weeks…and did OK over there.”
Glaus played eight games at third base for Triple-A Gwinnett while on the disabled list recovering from a knee injury, but the Braves weren’t confident he could physically make the plays required at third base.
When Chipper Jones was lost for the season to a knee injury in August, the Braves moved Martin Prado to third instead. When Prado went down the last week of the season with a hip pointer and torn oblique, the Braves put Conrad there.
Glaus showed his rust Friday night stumbling as he tried to field a bunt by Edgar Renteria in the 10th inning. He also showed some old instincts making a decisive throw to second base to start a double play that saved the 5-4 win for the Braves later in that inning.
“I’m not concerned about making any of the plays it’s just getting into the rhythm of the game,” Glaus said before the game.