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Gibson looking at young players in final week

SAN DIEGO -- As the days dwindle and the roster expands, playing time has become a precious commodity and D-backs manager Kirk Gibson has been careful in how he dispenses it.

With the D-backs out of the playoff picture, Gibson has been trying to get a look at young players like third baseman Matt Davidson and shortstop Chris Owings as decisions are made for next season.

"It's a tough time for everybody, because we're eliminated and there's a lot going through people's minds right now," Gibson said. "You've got to continue to push, be professional, try to win games, but at the same time start preparing yourself to start considering what you're going to do in the offseason when the season's over."

Tuesday night, Gibson started Owings at second. It is just his second appearance at that position since being called up earlier this month and the club is trying to get a feel for how versatile he can be.

"I want to see him play there again and get more experience than just one time," Gibson said. "I think the more he does it, the more comfortable he will be. Give him a chance to make some plays and understand it."

With Owings and fellow rookie Didi Gregorius dividing up the playing time at short, veteran Cliff Pennington has been the odd man out.

Pennington started Monday night's game, just the second game he's started all month, and collected three hits.

"He came out and had a great game," Gibson said of Pennington. "Don't forget about him. He's a pretty good player. He loves to play. He understands what the situation is, so he's professional about it, but the good thing about it is he's always ready. He does a great job of that. He's a great example for everybody."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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