Arizona Diamondbacks Notebook-Brandon Drury is Locked in at the Plate
By Joseph Jacquez
Brandon Drury is red hot at the plate for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks offense recorded 10 plus hits (16) for the 12th consecutive game against the Colorado Rockies.
In doing so, the Diamondbacks made baseball history. According to STATS LLC, the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers (against the Reds) were the last major-league team to sustain that amount of success in a single season against a single opponent.
Several contributed to the latest onslaught of Rockies pitching and Brandon Drury certainly made an important contribution.
Batting second for the 20th time this season, the 23-year-old rookie went 4-5 with a home run (12), a double, and recorded one RBI (42).
Coming into Tuesday’s game with Colorado, Drury reached base safely in 13 of his last 16 games hitting .418 (23-for-55) with four doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, and four walks.
One of the many concerns for Manager Chip Hale right now includes finding everyday playing time for his young slugger.
“He’s swinging the bat better over the last few weeks,” Hale said before Monday night’s game against the Rockies. “With everyone we have, it’s tough for everyone up here to get regular at-bats.”
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One option is to platoon Drury against lefties and Jake Lamb against righties. Yet, Lamb went 2-4 off Rockies’ southpaw Tyler Anderson in game one of the series, and continues to improve against lefties. Meanwhile, Drury hits righties (.274) and lefties (.278) equally well.
Drury’s ability to play multiple positions is the best way, according to Hale, to get his bat in the lineup frequently. The native of Grants Pass, Oregon has played at first base, second base, third base, left field and right field during various points this year. He is in left tonight batting seventh.
“(Drury) knows he’s going to be in there, he has confidence,” Hale said on a Phoenix radio station. You’re seeing him really do a lot of this damage with two strikes, which is impressive.”
Regardless of if he is in the lineup or not, Drury’s focus centers on helping the team win games.
“Anytime you start the series off with a win it’s always nice,” Drury said after Monday’s win. “We (have) about 20 games left and look to finish strong.”
“Get ’em in”
For most of the 2016 season, getting hits with runners in scoring position hasn’t been the Arizona Diamondbacks forte.
Moving runners on and over is nice. The bottom line remains getting key hits, and that’s the difference between a winning and a losing team.
Since August 15, the Diamondbacks lead the majors with a .324 average with RISP. During that same time frame, Welington Castillo shares the major-league average (.500) and RBI (22) lead when runners are at second and third.
“We’ve focused on getting good at-bats since the start of spring training,” manager Chip Hale said. “The hitters are making better pitch selections and getting pitchers to go deeper into counts.”
The Arizona Diamondbacks received encouraging news on A.J. Pollock. Pollock took batting practice before Monday’s game with the Rockies. The training staff reported the outfielder is ahead of schedule.
Manager Chip Hale provided more information on local radio about Pollock’s status
“We’re thinking about hitting him either today or tomorrow, having him at batting practice,” Hale said Tuesday. “They will do an ultrasound to make sure the strain is out of the groin before he starts to run at full speed.”
Hale anticipates Pollock to return before the season ends.
Andrew Chafin underwent an MRI last Saturday. The left-hander tweaked his shoulder warming up on Friday The Diamondbacks activated Chafin off the disabled list last Tuesday.
Next: No movement among managers
On Tuesday, team doctor Don Sheridan performed successful surgery on the two broken bones in catcher Chris Herrmann’s left hand. Herrmann is expected to be ready for spring training