Infante adds flash and style to fielding

SAN DIEGO — Watch Omar Infante play second base on a daily basis and you get used to above-average defense.

You also see the Marlins veteran mix in a little style and flash. Infante certainly makes presentation part of the position.

On occasion, you will see him on a routine grounder, flip the ball directly from his glove to his throwing hand. The little flip is something he calls his own. The practice started years ago when he was in Detroit.

“The first time I did it was in Detroit,” Infante said. “I’d flip it.”

Shortstop Jose Reyes watches in admiration at how smoothly Infante goes about playing second.

“Reyes says, ‘Hey, you can do that because you’re closer to the base,’ ” Infante said.

Reyes says the flip from glove to throwing hand would be tough on a shortstop.

“For a shortstop, it’s different,” Reyes said. “Longer throw. He’s right there. But he can play that position, man.”

Infante said manager Ozzie Guillen hasn’t said anything about the flip.

“Not yet,” Infante said. “But if I make an error.”

Thus far, Infante has one error this year, and his fielding percentage is .992, which is among the best for National League second baseman.

The error didn’t come while trying to make his trademark flip.

Infante even showed some flash after catching the final out liner on Friday night in a 9-8 win over the Padres in 12 innings. He snared a hot liner with a man on second base, and casually flipped the ball from his glove and caught it with his right hand.

“I know what I’m doing,” Infante said with a smile.

Joe Frisaro

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