Arizona Diamondbacks News: It’s Nick Ahmed’s Time
By Joseph Jacquez
We are starting to learn a lot more about how Diamondbacks Manager Chip Hale and the rest of the front office operate with the recent roster moves that have taken place recently.
Today was no different. Hale announced that veteran middle infielder Aaron Hill was being delegated to a bench role in favor of a “younger group.”
Nick Ahmed, 25, will start at shortstop after having a phenomenal spring, and Chris Owings will start at second base.
Ahmed played in 25 games for the Diamondbacks last season. He has always been known for his incredible range, and his great glove. However, he hit the baseball really well this spring spotting a .328 average in nineteen games.
Hale spoke with Steve Gilbert of MLB.com about his impressions of Ahmed:
“I had never seen Nick play in person,” Hale said. “The defense was as impressive as I was told, and the offense was a lot better than I was told it was going to be. Now, we put the third deck on and we start a season, we’ll see.”
Owings was going to be a starter somewhere in the infield, but where was to be determined this spring. Owings took a lot of grounders at second, and he can play either position really well.
Meanwhile, this is an obvious blow for Hill who at 33 will be coming off the bench in order to get his share of at bats if he stays in a Diamondbacks uniform, and if is a key word.
The Diamondbacks will try to get Hill as many at bats as possible, and he believes he still has a lot left. Hill, 33, went from one of the most prolific second basemen at the plate in 2012 to hitting just .244 in 2014.
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The big story with this news is Nick Ahmed. His journey to the bigs has been remarkable to follow. I remember meeting him in the spring of 2013 and he is such a great guy.
His glove has always been there, and his bat showed up this spring. It will be interesting to see how he performs early in the season.
The other big part of the story is that this new regime that is leading the Diamondbacks is not afraid to throw all of Kevin Towers acquisitions away, and go with younger players which is a good team that is rebuilding back into a contender.
Overall, I don’t think this is a bad move, and the Diamondbacks are actively trying to move Hill’s contract just like they did with Trevor Cahill.