Clint Barmes knows his glove kept him in the Pittsburgh Pirates' lineup a year ago. The veteran shortstop hopes his bat chips in this season.
Barmes says he spent the winter focusing on keeping things simple at the plate. He admits he tried to do too much too soon in 2012, when he hit a miserable .170 during April and May.
Manager Clint Hurdle stuck with Barmes, however, because of his stellar work in the field. Barmes says he had the best season defensively of his decade-long career in 2012.
Barmes eventually raised his average to .229 by season's end. It's been a slow start during spring training, where he's hitting just .178.
Regardless, he will be in the lineup when the Pirates open the 2013 season on Monday against Chicago.