Fox proving what he can do
Jake Fox hit two homers on Thursday afternoon to increase his spring total to a Major League-leading seven homers. Fox, one of the most outgoing guys in the Orioles’ clubhouse, played winter ball this offseason and has been trying to force his way onto the 25-man roster.
Whether that’s as a utility man or as the team’s backup catcher remains to be seen, but given the way he’s hitting I don’t see Fox not making this team. Here’s what he had to say this afternoon…
[on making an impression]
“At this point I’m trying to leave no doubt that I should be a part of this team. I think coming into spring training that was the biggest thing I wanted to come in and prove. I know what I’m capable of, coming in I wanted to show them exactly what I was trying to do for this team and this lineup. Anything else is out of my control.
[on learning to adapt to the bench]
“My whole career has been an uphill battle. I feel like I’ve been fighting against athleticism, lack of position, take your pick. Because I think I’ve been labeled since an early time in my career, it’s been hard to get out of that label.
It took me a while last year to realize, ok this is my job. Instead of trying to show them I can be an everyday player I have to go out and do my job. Especially if I want to keep my job. And that’s one of the reasons why [Oakland] sent me over I just wasn’t getting that job done. So, I came over here [to Baltimore] last year and it was a fight just to get my swing back.
I’ve always been straightforward with [manager Buck Showalter] and he’s always been straightforward with me. And he knows that at some point. [I want to be an everyday player.] Right now, that’s not where I fit in with this team. I know I’m going to be a role player, and he knows I’m going to show up and do that role to the best of my ability every day. But at some point down the road, hopefully I’m showing him that I can go out and play every day and be a part of an everyday team.
[on the backup catcher battle with Craig Tatum]
“I think you guys [in the media] are building up the competition between Craig and I. He and I are on the same page from the standpoint where I don’t necessarily think it’s a battle for the backup position. I think Buck is going to take the best 13 position players he has.
I don’t necessarily think there’s a direct competition between Craig and I. I feel like it’s more of a competition for the four spots on the bench. And whether it’s six or seven or eight of us fighting for four jobs on the bench. I don’t necessarily feel like it’s a direct competition between the two of us. I feel like it’s more of a broad competition for the last four jobs.”