There is nothing like some good ol’ competition up the middle. The D-Backs front office has really created some competition with the trades for Jean Segura and Phil Gosselin. Although the trade for Segura has received some negative reactions from the fans and the media, I truly believe that Segura will help this team out in someway.
The biggest thing this trade does for the Diamondbacks is that it will bring a sense of urgency to Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings. Both played well on defense last year (Ahmed had a 2.8 defensive WAR, 3rd in the NL), but they both struggled at the plate. Owings was dealing with a shoulder injury throughout the season, and Ahmed was trying to find his swing as a rookie. If Segura doesn’t come in and start right away, at least it will push Owings and Ahmed to play at a high level. So at best this trade brings in a new starter in Segura or it will push Ahmed and Owings to swing the bat at a higher level.
We also have to remember that Segura was an All-Star in 2013 when he hit .294/.329/.423. He still stole bases (20 in 2014, 25 in 2015) despite hitting .246/.289/.326 in 2014 and .257/.281/.336 in 2015. Owings hit .227/.264/.322 with 16 stolen bases, and Ahmed hit .226/.275/.359 with four steals. Offensively, Segura is an obvious upgrade over both Ahmed and Owings even with two down years in a row. But the real question is where to play him. Nick Ahmed is a better fielder than Owings, but Owings seems like the better hitter as he showed flashes of average, power, and speed in his rookie season.
The last reason why I believe the trade will work is that the organization has
a plethora of quality middle infield prospects now. Domingo Leyba seems to be the most highly-touted shortstop, but there are others like Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, Jack Reinheimer, and Jamie Westbrook. Most of these guy can play both positions up the middle, and that is why I think it doesn’t hurt too much to lose Isan Diaz . The D-Backs are in a win-now state of mind with the acquisitions of Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, and why not make another trade to help the team win now?
Losing Chase Anderson won’t hurt too much as the D-Backs already have a lot of depth in their rotations with Zack Godley, Archie Bradley, Randall Delgado, Branden Shipley, Josh Collmenter, and Tyler Wagner. The D-Backs acquired Wagner in the Segura trade as well, and he seems like he could be a solid bullpen guy or back-end starter. I believe he is a slight upgrade over Anderson although Anderson has already proved himself in the majors. Wagner can play the role of a fill-in starter or bullpen guy, which would’ve been the role of Anderson. Wagner has better credentials to come out of the bullpen though with a mid-90’s fastball and put away slider.
As of March 17, here are the stats for Segura, Ahmed, and Owings in Spring Training.
- Jean Segura: .593/.593/.889
- Nick Ahmed: .464/.448/.857
- Chris Owings: .321/.387/.393
- Phil Gosselin: .360/.407/.520
It looks like competition has really pushed these guys so far in the spring. And how about Phil Gosselin. He is really making a statement that could get him a spot on the Opening Day Roster.
Overall, I believe Segura will start at either second or shortstop he is an upgrade offensively over both Ahmed and Owings even in multiple off years. His flashes of speed and average in 2013 can’t be ignored as well. We all know D-Backs nation is eager and excited to see who will start on Opening Day.