#4 · COL · (Age: 25)
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THU, APRIL 05, 2018 - Valaika is starting at first base Thursday against the Padres, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.
"Patty Barrels" is a shortstop by trade with the ability to also play second and third base. However, with a plethora of left-handed hitters on Colorado's roster, it seems like Valaika could see some time at first base when left-handed pitchers take the mound. Ian Desmond is still the team's top first baseman, but manager Bud Black moved him to the outfield the past two games with southpaws on the mound for the opposition. Valaika has yet to collect a hit this season, but if he can grab enough starts at first base, his value could be boosted a bit at least due to the added positional flexibility. The 25-year-old has five career appearances at first base in the majors and played there twice in the minors last season.