Jake Elmore is a good guy to have on a team. He can play all four infield positions and all three outfield spots. And in a moment’s notice, the Astros utility man can be on the field contributing.
In Tuesday’s wild 15-10 loss to Boston, Elmore came in to play shortstop in the sixth inning when Jonathan Villar left the game with a sprained left thumb.
In his first at-bat of the game in the sixth inning, the right-handed hitting Elmore singled to shallow left field off right-hander Brandon Workman and later scored in Houston’s two-run inning. In the eighth inning Elmore hit a 378-foot home run to left field off left-hander Drake Britton, for his second homer of the season. Elmore went 2-for-2 on Tuesday with two runs, raising his batting average from .228 to .247.
Before the Astros promoted Villar from Triple A Oklahoma City on July 22, Elmore had been the everyday shortstop. Without a starting job Elmore still has found his way on the field.
Elmore started at second base on Friday in Minnesota for Jose Altuve, who was nursing a sore left quad. Elmore’s come into games recently when outfielders J.D. Martinez and Brandon Barnes have left with injuries. And he’s gotten the occasional start.
“I feel in professional baseball, if you can play different positions and you swing the bat, there’s always a place for you,” said Elmore.
The versatile Elmore has made five starts at second base this season. He’s also started 15 games at shortstop and one in left field.
And as it turns out, if needed, Elmore can catch. Elmore caught some in Double A and in spring training last year. He also was a catcher all through high school.
“We just found out the other day that he can catch too,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “We have an emergency catcher. He’s not a flight away anymore. He’s here, which is good.
“Having a guy that can play all the infield positions and outfield positions and if you get in a pinch, he can be an emergency catcher, that’s a valuable asset.”
The 26-year-old Elmore is one of those players that just wants to get on the field, regardless of the position.
“Wherever it may be,” said Elmore. “If I can help out in the infield, outfield, catching. I’ve played them all in my professional career.