Angel's prospect Tommy Field's inconvenient injury not stopping him from fighting to reach majors
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Dwelling on a missed opportunity has never helped anyone get anywhere.
Bees infielder Tommy Field knows a thing or two about that. He was called up to the majors by Los Angeles on April 20 but spent only three games with the club before being sent back to Triple-A because the Angels needed to fill a vacancy at another position.
Two days after he returned to Utah, the shortstop took a pitch to his hand, breaking his right middle finger.
“It was my second or third game back and I was just trying to work on some things, trying to drag bunt,” Field explained. “The pitch just happened to get away from a guy and I happened to be in a vulnerable position.”
The injury put Field on the Bees disabled list for a short period of time, but it was long enough to make him unavailable during a massive Angels call-up period. After getting a small taste of L.A., Field says he is working to make his way back there later this summer.
“It's just about going out and playing well everyday down here in Triple-A. Hopefully they'll give me another shot,” Field said.
After the setback, the 26-year-old infielder kept his focus on rehabbing his finger and regaining rhythm to his game. Field said that he is striving for consistency, and it was evident last Friday evening when he went 2 for 3 at the plate as the Bees beat Fresno, 4-2.
“I felt good,” Field said. “Lately I've just been trying to stay with the same approach, stay consistent at the plate. Last night was one of those nights that things worked out well.”
To add a touch of glamor to his night, Field even rattled out his first home run of the season.
“Yeah, it feels good to get the first one out of the way,” he said. “Not really trying to hit a home run, but it just happened — the ball found the barrel and it went over the fence.”
Despite all of his recent improvements in Triple-A, Field still has one thing on his mind: to get a chance in the majors again.
Field got his first big league opportunity in 2011 when the Colorado Rockies picked him up. He played in 16 games, averaging .271 at the plate. While appearing to find a groove in his first MLB season, the young shortstop struggled the following year. Last season he played for both the Rockies and Colorado's Double-A farm team, the Drillers of Tulsa, Okla. His inability to find a routine steered him further away from the majors, but he hopes he's on his way to getting back on track this season.
“I was up and down last year, and hopefully this year I can help out the Angels,” he said.
Field acknowledges that it's a constant battle to make it to the top and keep a spot there, but it's a fight he's willing to take on. And performing each game is the only way keep his name on the radar.
Although knowing that fact can be important, Field says sometimes it's better to not get caught up in speculation.
“You really can't think about that. You've just got to go out and play the game that you're meant to play everyday," he said.
Whitney O'Bannon is a new media sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow on Twitter at @whitney_oban.
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