Sometimes numbers do not tell the whole story. Take Eric Chavez, for instance. The slash lines for him are rather ordinary, perhaps seen as below-average. The numbers are .241 batting/.305 on-base/.481 slugging. Yet it is not the number of hits or times on base that has made the 35-year old Chavez brilliant so far this season. Much of his offensive output has come at critical points in games which is one reason why the Arizona Diamondbacks are only a game out of first place as May approaches.
Eric Chavez is a big reason why the D’backs have succeeded in spite of multiple injuries. Image: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
Chavez has four home runs in 2013. All of them came in pretty clutch situations, such as his pinch-hit blast in Colorado or tying the game last night against the Giants in the fourth inning. Also, don’t forget his bases clearing double in New York which cemented Arizona’s only win against the Yankees. Signed to be a backup to Martin Prado at third base, the six-time Gold Glove winner has already appeared in 19 out of the team’s first 26 games due to the injuries that have plagued the team this year. Even when all of the D’back regulars return to the lineup, Chavez will still get his turns at the plate. He will probably get at least one, maybe two starts per week and has already shown to be more than capable as a pinch-hitter. His outstanding defense continues to be an asset and will allow him to get into games he does not start many more times this Summer.
Chavez enjoyed a career revival in 2012 with 16 home runs in 313 at-bats with the Yankees. His solid play has continued in the desert while working on a one year contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if General Manager Kevin Towers tries to find a way to keep Chavez with the club next year as well. His value to the current club can not be understated.
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