HOUSTON — Until signing with the Astros, veteran Darin Erstad had played in the big leagues for 13 years, all as a starter.
He signed on with Houston as a backup, knowing he was joining an outfield occupied by three players who wouldn’t need many days off.
The transition has been complicated. The 33-year-old former Gold Glove winner has an entirely different pregame routine, and he’s still acclimating himself to his new role.
“You do the same thing for several years, and then all of a sudden you don’t anymore,” Erstad said. “I’m just playing with some stuff, trying to figure it out. But I understand my role here. I’m just here to help. When a guy goes down, I’ll step in and try to help the team.”
Last year, Erstad played in 87 games for the White Sox. The year before? 40 games with the Angels. The starter days are long gone.
I would have liked to hear Erstad say: “I feel very fortunate to have a job making a million dollars a year.” Who knows? Maybe he did.
Erstad Watch: 26 ABs in 17 games. Hasn’t drawn a walk — OBP .231 — but did have 2 hits against the Padres.