On the surface, perhaps. But just because Kearns said it was his idea doesn't necessarily mean it was. Perhaps DanO, et. al. asked him to and also said for him to tell the press it was his idea to make him look good. Or perhaps Austin figured it out all by himself. And perhaps it was his idea.
I've said this before, I think Barry did - and is still doing - himself a great dissservice by not learning to play other positions. If he does play next year, it will more than likely be as a utility player.