After missing the last 138 games due to an ankle injury sustained on July 20, 2011 it appears Stephen Drew will be wearing Sedona Red within the week.
“We talked about maybe having him play a game or two in Mobile since we’re on the East Coast, I think our trainer was going to talk to him about that,” General manager Kevin Towers said. “And then hopefully activate him on Wednesday.”
It was made official this morning and Drew is to report to the Diamondbacks Double A affiliate Mobile BayBears to play both Sunday and Monday night before heading to Atlanta on Tuesday to rejoin the team- assuming no further setbacks. Drew has played his last nine games with the AAA Reno Aces batting .250 with a pair of homeruns in 32 at bats.
Originally, manager Kirk Gibson had stated that they only wanted to activate the shortstop when he was ready to play on an every-single-day basis but now it seems they’re prepared to play him on an irregular basis to ease him back into the big leagues. Which means the team will have to option someone to the minors- most likely Josh Bell– to make room for Drew and will have a trio of shortstops on the roster with Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald and Drew.
Both Bloomquist and McDonald have been excellent all season at shortstop combining for the best fielding percentage at their position in the National League. Bloomquist is hitting .288 with 12 doubles and 5 triples in 52 games this year. McDonald, known exclusively for his premier defense, is batting .280 in 82 at bats when filling in for Bloomquist and has hit four homeruns and seven doubles already. Frankly, Bloomquist has earned the right to remain the everyday starter with Drew filling in for him to get his reps until he is ready to return to everyday playing. McDonald may have to split time with Roberts at third base as well as fill in for Aaron Hill at second. All this assuming- of course- that Bell is the man sent down.
Drew is a lifetime .270 hitter but has a knack for extra bases and driving in runs as he had four consecutive seasons from 2007-2010 with at least 28 doubles and recorded 39 triples in that span.
Drew will become a free agent after this season with a mutual option of $10 million or a club buyout of $1.35 million. Whether Drew will be able to make an impact this season is yet to be seen although you’d have to think the team will be happy to see the 29 year old back in the clubhouse this season and hopefully next spring as well.
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