Costanzo waits for his chance

Mudcats veteran fills versatile role

Staff WriterJuly 25, 2010 

— Third baseman Mike Costanzo may be a newcomer this season with the Carolina Mudcats, but the minor league veteran already is one of the team's more seasoned players.

Costanzo played at the Triple-A level in 2008 and part of last season with the Norfolk Tides, but that doesn't stop him from thinking the Double-A Mudcats play at a much faster pace than what he's used to.

"It's a little faster here, and there are a couple of veteran guys here, but it's still baseball," Costanzo said. "My favorite part of the game is the everyday grind, and I love winning, so that's a big part of it."

Heading into Saturday's road game against the Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits, Costanzo was batting .264 with six home runs and 32 RBIs in 58 games.

Mudcats manager David Bell said Costanzo's ability to play effectively at both first base and third base should help his chances to advance to the major leagues.

"He can play both bases, and he's a good player. And anytime a player can play multiple positions well, it helps a lot for the team and the individual," Bell said. "He's a good player, and he spent a lot of time playing Triple-A. His goal is to get into the major leagues, and he's in a good situation here."

Bell added that Costanzo "gets along well with everyone and has a little more experience that makes him beneficial for the team."

"The guys here are great, but I think everybody's goal is to get to the major leagues, and I'll do whatever it takes to get there," said Costanzo, who was selected 65th overall in the second round of the June 2005 draft out of Coastal Carolina.

patricia.lee@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4567

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