The Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their second game of the season last night, a 5-3 decision to the Pittsburgh Pirates. One may choose to point out that the D’backs are 5-0 in games not pitched by Trevor Cahill. While that is an interesting early season stat, I would like to look at the positive side of a loss. After all, it is only the second defeat of the season and I promise you there will not be many more posts about glass half-full items after a loss unless the team goes down in the return of Daniel Hudson. So last night will be remembered as the first day off in 2013 for Miguel Montero.
Which meant it was the first start for Wil Nieves this season.
This is an occasion that is not to be taken lightly. After all, Miggy barring any injuries will catch his usual 130 games. That means Nieves will have to at least hold his own during a tough day game after a night contest. If Monday is any indication, then the team will not miss many beats. The 35-year old Nieves went 2 for 3 with an RBI single. Now we don’t expect his current .500 batting average to continue much longer but what he can not become is an automatic out. His career average of .230 indicates that might be tough to do considering the limited number of plate appearances he is bound to receive. However, he did hit .301 in 2012 (83 at-bats) splitting his time between the D’backs and the Colorado Rockies. He won’t hit for power as he has only seven home runs in 838 at-bats. The best thing Nieves can do if he hits eighth is to extend an inning so the pitcher does not have to lead off. On defense, he will have to improve on his 23% rate of throwing out baserunners to compliment the strong play behind the plate of Montero.
For one game, Wil Nieves was the hitting star for the D’backs. Too bad it had to come in a loss.
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