As we inch closer toward the July 31st trading deadline, some unexpected happenings have cropped up around the Arizona Diamondbacks. Though not considered World Series contenders at the beginning of the season, no one expected them to be bottom-feeders, either. So it has come to pass that because of injuries, all three of the D’backs’ young shortstops have been on display at the Major League level in 2014. Will all three remain with the organization beyond the end of this month and is it a given that one or even two of them will be gone by this time next year?
Let’s assume for the moment Chris Owings is the long term starter at the position. Before going on the disabled list, he was and still is considered a favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year. That leaves Nick Ahmed and Didi Gregorius as perhaps showcasing themselves for another team. It is a risk-reward proposition for the D’backs. On the one hand, if both play well, their value goes up. Conversely, if they struggle, then their worth goes down. Which is more valuable, Gregorius hitting .330 at Triple A Reno or Gregorius batting .210 for the Snakes? I would rather the D’backs keep both guys down on the farm and have them perform well in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in order to keep their value as high as possible. Unfortunately, injuries to Owings, Cliff Pennington and newly-signed Jordan Pacheco have necessitated the call-up of both Ahmed and Gregorius.
The downside to having at least two of these shortstops in Arizona now is playing time. they are all every day players and having them sit on the bench rots both player skill and player worth. Once the injured start to heal, Ahmed will be the first one sent back to Reno. Then the question becomes will Aaron Hill get traded, allowing Gregorius to play second where he has played the bulk of his time this season? Stay tuned.