Torre has confidence in Belliard at first

Updated: March 20, 2010, 4:05 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Although Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Ronnie Belliard appeared uncomfortable in his first appearance at first base this spring, manager Joe Torre said he isn't concerned.

On Friday night against San Diego, Belliard played the first four innings at first base and had three ground ball hit his way, including one that caromed off his glove as he tried to backhand it.

"He can play first,'' Torre said. "To me, even though he may not have been positioned properly, but his hands make up for a lot of things. If you can play the middle of the infield, chances are you can play first as long as you don't get stepped on over there.''

Belliard has 57 career appearances at first base, making him the only utility infielder the Dodgers have in camp with significant experience there. But Belliard still has to weigh in at no more than 209 pounds sometime during spring training in order to guarantee his one-year, $825,000 contract, something that hadn't happened as of Friday night.

If Belliard isn't on the season-opening roster, it may force the club to keep non-roster first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, which in turn would throw non-roster outfielder Garret Anderson's status into doubt. Mientkiewicz and Anderson are competing for what probably will be only one left-handed pinch-hitting spot.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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