JUPITER -- Rafael Furcal has been putting in extra time with Marlins infield coach Perry Hill on the practice field getting re-acquainted with second base. Furcal, a shortstop for the vast majority of his 13 major league seasons, hasn't played second since 2004 and last started a game there in 2002 when he was with the Braves.
Contrary to perception, Hill said the transition going from shortstop to second base is more difficult than it is the other way around.
"Taking arm strength out of the equation, it's more difficult from short to second than it is from second to short," Hill said. "Think about your double play pivot. When I come across the base (as a shortstop), I have a feel for where the base runner is. I have no idea where he is (as a second baseman). Plus, at second, I'm throwing it across my body almost everything I do."
Hill said that, for shortstop, "everything is happening in front of them."
"For second basemen, 70 percent of what you do is behind you," Hill said. "When a second baseman charges a slow roller, first base is now behind me. It's not as easy as people think. People think when someone goes to second, they're thinking of the ground ball right at him and the shorter throw. That's one-tenth of it. The other nine-tenths is hard."
Hill said he doubts Furcal will have any trouble making the adjustment to the new position, or getting used to Adeiny Hechavarria as his double play partner.
"I've mapped it out for them," Hill said. "Two weeks from now it'll be like they've played there forever."
Check out video of Hill working with Furcal in "The Bone Yard," Hill's private mini-sanctuary for infield instruction: