The Diamondbacks need a shortstop. Scott Bordow and Jay Dieffenbach discuss that and the Hamilton hazing scandal in the Shot Clock.
Torey Lovullo may turn out to be a wonderful manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks but he’s already made two questionable decisions.
The first: Making Archie Bradley the long reliever instead of giving him a more prominent role in the back of the bullpen. Bradley was electric Tuesday, striking out seven batters in 3 1/3 innings and hitting 99 on the radar gun.
That performance wasn’t an aberration, either. Bradley was dominant the last couple weeks of the Cactus League, allowing just two earned runs in 13 innings while striking out 10 batters. Given the Diamondbacks’ set-up men aren’t exactly Andrew Miller, why not let Bradley pitch the seventh or eighth inning rather than mopping up in an 8-4 loss.
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The second decision? Playing Yasmany Tomas in left field and Chris Owings at shortstop.
Simply put, it’s a mistake. The Diamondbacks would be better off starting Nick Ahmed at short and moving Owings to the outfield. It would strengthen them defensively at two positions, significantly so. Ahmed is a far better defender than Owings, and Owings would be a plus defender in left (or right, if David Peralta shifts over) while Tomas is considered one of the worst defenders in the game, regardless of position.
Yes, Tomas hit 31 homers and drove in 83 runs last year. But Owings will get on base more often and steal at least 20 bases. Plus, scoring runs isn’t the Diamondbacks’ problem, even if Ahmed can’t hit a lick. Preventing runs – particularly with a shaky pitching staff – is paramount.
Tomas’ $68.5 million contract shouldn’t factor into the equation. The worst thing the Diamondbacks can do is compound that mistake by continuing to tie themselves to it.
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