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Arizona Diamondbacks: Socrates Brito out for indefinite period

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Sep 4, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Socrates Brito (30) bats in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Socrates Brito (30) bats in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost outfielder Socrates Brito with a broken finger in his left hand

The news was that Torey Lovullo, manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, had hoped was not good nor encouraging.

After discovering that Socrates Brito had dislocated the fourth finger of his left hand Wednesday during a game against Team Mexico, Lovullo’s first concern was the health of his outfielder. After determining that Brito will be lost for an indefinite period, Lovullo then switched into recovery mode. That’s where the Diamondbacks’ depth chart will help identify an adequate replacement.

While Brito was on the bubble with Jeremy Hazelbaker, Gregor Blanco, and Reymond Fuentes as a fourth outfielder, plans seem altered. That’s because Lovullo told Venom Strikes before Thursday’s game with the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch that the role the club envisioned for Brito is now different.

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"“We’re looking at Brito for a back-up to (center fielder A. J.) Pollock. We still have good candidates.”"

At this point, infielder Chris Owings, who was rushed into center field last season when Pollock went down with a fractured elbow, becomes one option. Not so fast, Lovullo told Venom Strikes. At this point, Lovullo has no plans to move Owings into center, but indicated Owings is slated to take reps in corner outfield positions beginning next week.

For now, Owings is in the middle of competition with Nick Ahmed, and Ketel Matre for the starting shortstop job.

If Lovullo is disappointed by the injury, he seems upset with the way the injury to Brito occurred. Brito’s injury resulted from sliding head-first into second base. From the start of camp, Lovullo, who stresses fundamentals, told his players to slide feet-first. Going into any base or the plate head-first subjects players to the kind of injury which Lovullo hopes to avoid.

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There is no timetable for Brito’s return. Lovullo did tell Venom Strikes before Thursday’s game that the injury could keep Brito out of the lineup for months.  When asked if the Diamondbacks could lose Brito up the All-Star game in mid-July, Lovullo made no commitment.

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