Sean Kazmar reflects on lessons learned

Sean Kazmar could have sulked after being sent down from Double-A San Antonio to High-A Lake Elsinore. Instead, he learned from the experience and flashed the snazziest glove the Padres minors have seen this season.

It seems like your defensive work has really taken a step forward this year at second base and shortstop, especially since coming down to Lake Elsinore.

Sean Kazmar: If you don't have fun on the baseball field you don't have any point being out there. I was trying to help the team out as best as I could.

How has playing multiple positions been for you?

Sean Kazmar: When I was in San Antonio I got a chance to play short – the first time in two years. It is completely different to be quite honest. The more positions I know the better. I was starting to feel like I did growing up and when I was in college, getting my confidence back at shortstop. Being able to play multiple positions can only benefit me.

You mentioned second base and shortstop being different. How is it different to you?

Sean Kazmar: The angle. I noticed when I am playing second I watch the pitcher throw the ball all the way until it gets to the plate because of the angle. At shortstop I just watch the hitter and where the catcher is setting up. You can kind of see the ball out of the corner of your eye but the angles are different. You can't sit on balls at shortstop like you can at second where you have more time. And you are going towards the bag instead of getting in and getting rid of it.

I have played second for three straight years and feel comfortable there and have played shortstop my whole life so feel comfortable there. I am just trying to help this team.

It was obviously a disappointment for you to end up back in Lake Elsinore but talk about the changes you have undergone when you left San Antonio.

Sean Kazmar: I really tried not to change anything up. I went back to where I felt comfortable as far as my batting stances goes. When I got (to Lake Elsinore), Max Venable put it the best way when he said, ‘You really need to get your confidence back.' There were times where I struggled and was swinging at a lot of bad pitches and not as confident at the plate as I should be. (By the end of the year), I was going up there confident. If I get out, I get out. I was trying to put together good AB's. Have fun out there and I gained a lot of confidence back from the struggles I had earlier this year.

I was just trying to stay consistent and keep it going through August and early September.

What do you take away as you look ahead towards the off-season?

Sean Kazmar: Everything is going to stay the same for me. I can't really take anything away – everything has already happened. It was really about gaining my confidence back. I was at a low point this year and I have never been at that point before. I have never had those feelings before. Now I know what it is like.

I am going to go into the off-season confident and excited for next year, put on more weight and do the same thing I did last year – hit everyday, and stay in shape.

Do you change anything based on those early season struggles – did you feel like you peaked almost too early?

Sean Kazmar: If you know how to change it let me know. If there is something I could do to take it away I would love to do it. I just think it is confidence, going into every game and every AB with the swagger and desire. I got away from it. But it is back and I feel pretty good out there and helping the team out.

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