Brandon Barnes displays the same passion breaking in a baseball glove as he does patrolling center field for the Astros.
Earlier this week in the team’s clubhouse, Barnes was in front of his locker molding the glove just the way he prefers.
“I shape it the way I want. I like it wide,” said Barnes. “I like it cupped down a bit on the top. Just roll over a little bit. And deep pocket, I just pound it so the ball doesn’t come out.”
Gloves made for outfielders are quite long with deep pockets.
Because of his fielding skills and that he can cover a lot of ground, Barnes as of late has been coming into games as a defensive replacement. In the Astros’ last road trip at Detroit, Barnes secured a 7-5 Houston win when he caught the final out up against the right-center field wall on a deep ball hit by Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded.
Barnes is nowhere near retiring the first-year baseball glove he’s been making those remarkable catches with this season. The glove Barnes is breaking in is a backup glove, for now.
“The one I used last year, when I went to Venezuela, it was taken from my luggage on the way home,” said Barnes. “I got a couple new gloves this year. I’m not ready to retire them. I’m just breaking this one in just in case something happens to another one. “
Barnes usually plays with two baseball gloves each season. He said he has a home glove and a road glove. A major leaguer can play with the same glove from a year to three years.
“Depends on how the leather lasts and how the shape of the glove lasts,” said Barnes. “Whether I got a good funnel or a good pocket in the glove.
“I just got this (Monday). It’ll take me a week to two weeks to break it in to get it game-ready.”