D-Backs Bench a Real Strength for 2012

By Thomas Lynch

All good teams need a sufficient bench in order to have playoff dreams and the Arizona Diamondbacks are no exception.  The D-Backs’ unit headed by  Willie BloomquistGeoff Blum and John McDonald  is as good a reserve unit as you will find in baseball.  Though their career numbers are not particularly flashy, each man provides a steadying hand when pressed into short term, or in Bloomquist’s case more longer stints of playing time. 

Bloomquist will once again fill in at Shortstop (and bat leadoff) while Stephen Drew  recovers from his ankle injury.  Once Drew returns,  Bloomquist will once again resume his role as a super utility man who is extremely valuable in the pinch.  He can play Second Base, Short and Left field and handle the bat decently in this role.  Blum’s career highlight came as a member of the Chicago White Sox.  His home run in the top of the 14th inning in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series gave the Sox a commanding 3-0 lead over the Houston Astros.   The next night, Chicago captured their first World Championship in 88 years.  He has played on two other playoff teams including last season’s NL West Champion D-Backs.  While McDonald does not have the same resume as Bloomquist and Blum, he has proved to be a serviceable player in a career that dates back to 1999.  He will be counted on as Bloomquist’s backup in the early going of the 2012 season.

When the games count, you can bet manager Kirk Gibson will be comfortable calling on Bloomquist, Blum and McDonald to get the clutch hit or make the key defensive stop.  Having excellent three players in reserve roles is a luxury most teams do not have.

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