Last season, when Colorado Rockies infield talent Pat Valaika first got the call-up, he found himself bouncing back and forth between the minors and the majors. This year, after getting called up from Triple-A just a couple weeks into the season, he’s morphed into perhaps their most reliable bench man as he has the ability to play any infield position from first to third base.

“It’s fun,” Valaika said. “I take it one day at a time. In this game, you never know what’s going to happen. I just try to enjoy every single day, and it’s fun when every game we play matters. I think that intensity throughout the whole season is fun, because it doesn’t really drag. You never come to the field and drag it, because you know you’ve got a game to win that night.”

Valaika says he’s enjoyed helping out the team in whatever way he can, no matter where he ends up sitting or playing on any given night. Whether filling in because of injury, rest or inconsistency by a starter, or when the matchup favors his bat in the starting lineup, Valaika has delivered consistently for manager Bud Black.

He was 3-for-4 on Sunday in a loss to the Marlins, starting the game at shortstop before moving to third base when Nolan Arenado left the game after being hit by a pitch. That raised his season average to .281; he’s hitting an impressive .340 with a 1.029 OPS off the bench.

“I’m just being confident, trying to help the team win in any way possible, be it starting or coming off the bench,” he said. “I think I know my role as a bench player and kind of embraced it and learned to enjoy it. It’s been fun.”

Through the thick and thin this season, Valaika has played every non-battery position in the infield and even made a few appearances in left field. Whether or not he’s really played there much before, he always leaves everything on the field to do what’s best for the team.

“I’ve played shortstop probably the most, but I enjoy playing second. Third base is newer, but I enjoy playing there too,” Valaika said. “First base is my newest one, so whenever I get thrown in over there, it’s fun for me. It’s just so different and I enjoy doing that because it’s something new.”

While he’s perhaps most comfortable in the middle infield, that doesn’t change the excitement of defending first whenever he gets the chance.

“It’s just the maybe the novelty that it’s a position that I don’t play a lot or have never played. Everything’s new and you see the ball differently. I don’t know. I’ve seen a lot of ground balls from second base and shortstop and third, but I haven’t seen a lot there,” Valaika said. “You’re on a different side, taking your eye off the ball to run to the bag, which you never do playing the other positions, so it’s little things like that that I never get to do playing those other positions.”

With Mark Reynolds healthy and ready to suit up at first base and Ian Desmond waiting in the wings, there’s really no reason Valaika should need to put on the big glove – even if his teammates would like to see more of it.

“I know I’ll never be as good as [Reynolds and Desmond] at it, but I try to pick their brains,” Valaika said. “Actually, I do use Mark’s glove whenever I do play over there, because it’s a lot better than mine is. They’re great about it, and Mark’s always tried to lobby for me to get in over there. He’s always telling Bud, ‘Put Valaika over at first.'”

No matter where he’s deployed on the field, Valaika’s heart and determination on defense has only been matched by his production at the plate thus far in 2017. In his 78 games with the Rockies this year, he’s racked up 10 home runs, 10 doubles and 31 RBIs .

“I wouldn’t say I’ve changed anything. I’ve kind of had the same approach [at the plate] since the start of the season,” he said. “I think, if anything, I’ve been a little more selective on the pitches I swing at. I think, early on, not that I was going to swing no matter what, but I really locked in my approach more lately.”

For Valaika, it doesn’t matter how much action he’s seen up in the bigs. He still gets that rush of excitement every time he steps into the batter’s box.

“The more you’re up here, the more comfortable you get,” he said. “I still get butterflies every time going up to the plate, but I think that’s a good thing.”