Despite a breakout 2011 by left fielder Gerardo Parra, the Diamondbacks opted to sign free agent outfielder Jason Kubel to a 2 year, $15 million dollar contract.
It was a curious move for a fourth outfielder. However, it’s become evident that Kubel wasn’t signed to be the fourth outfielder, rather manager
Kirk Gibson has been heavily eluding to the fact that Kubel will start the year in left over Parra.
Parra was a gold glove winning outfielder last year for the Diamondbacks who also held his own with his bat in .282 with 8 HR and 46 RBI in 2011. Besides stellar defense, Parra can be a pest on the basepaths—stealing 15 bases. It appeared that he would be a part of the Diamondbacks outfield for years to come and that if any of the regulars were in trouble, it would be centerfielder Chris Young who has struggled without strikeouts and failed to hit for a consistently high average throughout his career. However, Parra finds himself out of as a regular.
Other teams see the value in Parra as the Diamondbacks have been approached for potential deals for the talented outfielder, however thus far they haven’t shown any interest in parting ways Parra. While I really do like Jason Kubel as a player—he has more power than Parra—and was initially in agreement that Kubel should start in left field, this spring has shown me that Parra is simply a more dynamic baseball player with better intangibles. Parra is outhitting Kubel .333 to .158 and his OPS is an outstanding .915. Gibby and the Diamondbacks should, but won’t do the right thing from the start. Parra is an everyday player who appears to be rapidly ascending in his abilities and makes the D-Backs defense and lineup better when he’s in there. It’s my impression that before too long, that it will be the case that Parra reclaims his job. Hopefully it won’t cost the D-backs too much before they come to that realization.
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