SAN FRANCISCO -- Kevin Frandsen's versatility as a Washington Nationals utility man has taken on a new dimension, for which he can thank the Giants.
Frandsen, who began his professional career with six years in the Giants organization, has received the bulk of his playing time this year in left field -- a position he initially played during his 2007 stint with San Francisco. That year, Frandsen appeared in 10 games in left field, starting three.
So when a reporter asked him earlier this season about the pressure of filling in for injured Nats star Bryce Harper, Frandsen didn't even blink.
"I backed up Barry Bonds," Frandsen recalled Tuesday. "This is nothing."
This year, the 32-year-old Frandsen has started 11 games in left field, six at third base, three at second base and two at first base. He and others have helped prevent Washington from imploding when injuries forced position players such as Harper, catcher Wilson Ramos, first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to the disabled list. Ramos, LaRoche and Zimmerman have returned, helping Washington climb into a first-place tie with Atlanta in the National League East as Tuesday began.
"I feel like the way we're playing now is the direct result of us keeping our heads above water when guys were hurt," said Frandsen, who took a .234 batting average through 48 games into Tuesday.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.