Gregorius vs. Owings

By Thomas Lynch

Didi Gregorius was the starter for most of 2013. It appears he will be battling Chris Owings for the job in 2014. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With only 17 games remaining in the 2013 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks will be getting a jump on 2014 by evaluating how certain players do over these next two-plus weeks. There seems to be a battle brewing at shortstop between this year’s primary starter, Didi Gregorius and the Pacific Coast League MVP, Chris Owings. Will these last two weeks determine their fate? Or will this battle be won in Spring Training?

After a hot start to begin his Major League career, Gregorius settled into what most scouts thought of him when the D-Backs traded for him in the offseason. He provides good defense at a critical position while being a guy who will hit about .260. I think his range is excellent and while his arm appears to be strong, it seemed there were alot of low throws being made to first base. Owings, after looking lost at the plate during his initial at-bats in Arizona, seems to have found a groove. In his four starts at short, he has put together two multi-hit games. I am not sure if he has the range of Gregorius but the reports are he handles the position well. This appears to be shaping up to be as a battle of offense vs. defense.

Of course, these last two weeks could also be a showcase for one of these guys to be traded during the Fall and Winter. It would seem that it is not be possible to keep both of them with the D-Backs. However, the outfield coming into 2013 seemed crowded as well and yet it worked out that many of the pieces saw significant playing time. Maybe that is what the organization envisions for the middle infield as well.

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