Utility player Diego Goris wasn't an everyday player for Fort Wayne at the start of season.
But TinCaps manager Jose Valentin has had to find ways to keep Goris in -- be it because of injuries or, lately, the 22-year-old's hot bat.
Goris went 4-for-5 Monday and scored four runs. He is batting .280, good for fourth on the roster, and has seen time at third base, shortstop, second base, first base and as a designated hitter because of his acumen at the plate.
"At first, I wasn't playing that much, and I was trying to maintain my focus," the native of the Dominican Republic said through a translator. "I kept working hard so that they could see that I belong in the lineup, and I just stayed positive the whole time."
He's proved his worth to Valentin, who has made adjustments to keep Goris in. As team depth has whittled down with two everyday infielders on the disabled list, he has found more opportunities.
More importantly, Goris has made the most of those chances.
The success led Valentin to try Goris in the fourth spot of the lineup Sunday. But Goris went 1-for-5, which Valentin said might have something to do with Goris taking a different approach as a cleanup hitter.
When the utility man fell to the seventh spot Monday, he put together the streaky hitting Valentin has gotten used to. With Goris in the bottom half of the lineup, the sixth through ninth hitters produced eight of the TinCaps' 14 runs in their 14-4 victory against Dayton.
"You want to win. You want to put the best guy in the lineup," Valentin said. "If he's continuing to swing the bat well, I will try to find a way where I can put him in."