SALT LAKE CITY — Bill Hall insists he isn't finished playing Major League Baseball. The veteran utility man, who has been in the lineup for 1,054 games at the sport's highest level, is eager to add a few more to his career total.
"I'm not done. I'm 33. It seems old to me because I've played so long, but it's really not that old," said Hall, who joined the Salt Lake Bees earlier this week — putting him one step away from a 12th consecutive season in the big leagues. "I feel like I've still got four or five good years to still be a very productive major leaguer, especially with my versatility."
Hall, an accomplished infielder and outfielder, is working his way back up the ladder after getting sidelined by a strained quadriceps and a calf strain this spring. He was released by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on March 27 and re-signed to a minor league deal earlier this month. After spending some time in extended spring training, Hall was sent to Salt Lake.
In Monday's 13-11 win over Tacoma at Spring Mobile Ballpark, Hall drove in two runs and had a pair of hits — including an RBI triple — for the Bees.
"He's a guy that's been in the big leagues, knows what its takes to get there and is fighting to get back there," Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said before the game. "So, he's going to do the things he needs to do."
Hall, who played for the Pioneer League's Ogden Raptors in 1999, signed with the Angels' organization after major league stints with the Milwaukee Brewers (2002-2009), Seattle Mariners (2009), Boston Red Sox (2010), Houston Astros (2011), San Francisco Giants (2011) and Baltimore Orioles (2012).
"The big leagues is always what I wanted to do since I was 5 years old, and that hunger hasn't gone anywhere," Hall said. "I worked hard this offseason to put myself back in a position to be able to be there and hopefully stay there permanently once I get back."
Although Hall doesn't have any timetable for getting back to the majors, he's eager to do so as quickly as possible.
"If they need me today, tomorrow, next week or a month from now, I'm just making sure I'm ready," Hall said. "The most important part is me staying healthy and ready for the call whenever it does happen. I expect it to happen, that's my plan. That should be everybody's plan, right?"
In the meantime, Johnson noted that the Bees may use Hall in a variety of spots — at all infield positions and as a designated hitter.Comment on this story
"He's going to be moving around the diamond because that would be the role," Johnson said of Hall's likely duties with the Angels. "He would be backing all those guys in the infield. We'll try to get him in as many games as we can while we have him and see where that leads us."
GAME NOTES: Hall isn't the only experienced major leaguer added to Salt Lake's roster this spring. Outfielder Brad Hawpe, who was an MLB All-Star in 2009, joined the Bees on April 17. He hit a three-run homer on Monday. … Designated hitter Chris Snyder's grand slam was Salt Lake's second of the season. The Bees didn't have any in 2012. … RHP David Carpenter (3-0, 6.48 ERA) was called up by the Angels on Monday. The transaction is Salt Lake's 19th of the season. … Shortstop Jimmy Swift belted a solo homer in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest for any Bees slugger this year. … The attendance was 3,801.