Drury's audition gives D-backs a good problem
Adding to glut of infielders, organization's No. 7 prospect vying for time in '16
DENVER -- How the final four weeks of the regular season play out could go a long way toward determining how the D-backs' infield looks heading into 2016.
The first wave of September callups began on Tuesday with right-handers Matt Stites and Enrique Burgos being recalled to bolster the bullpen. The team also brought up infielder Brandon Drury, who made his Major League debut in the opener of Tuesday's doubleheader at Coors Field and has the most to gain from the audition. Drury went hitless in four at-bats during the D-backs' 6-4 win over Colorado, but Arizona is intrigued by his potential.
In third baseman Jake Lamb, shortstop Nick Ahmed and second baseman Chris Owings, the D-backs seem set for the future in the infield. However, if Drury, who plays second and third primarily and occasionally short, impresses down the stretch, he might give the D-backs incentive to deal one of the young infielders to help acquire starting pitching.
"We need to see everyone we can to make decisions on next season on who our guys are," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of how playing time will be divided up in the infield. "Brandon is going to get some time at third and at second. Same with [Phil] Gosselin. I think we have to figure that out. When you talk about deals, whether it was at the winter or the [July 31 non-waiver] Trade Deadline, Jake's name is always mentioned by other teams and Drury's name is always mentioned by other teams, [and] Owings. We have to figure out this September what our feeling is about all these guys going into the winter."
Ranked by MLB.com as Arizona's No. 7 prospect, Drury was acquired by the D-backs from the Braves in the 2013 deal that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta.
This year, the 23-year-old Drury hit a combined .303 with 40 doubles, five homers and 61 RBIs in 130 games for Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, and Hale wasted little time putting him in the lineup -- at third base and hitting seventh -- for Game 1 on Tuesday.
As he sat in the visitors' dugout at Coors Field before Tuesday's game, Drury shook his head at the fact that less than 24 hours earlier, he was in Sacramento getting ready for a Triple-A game. Now he was in a big league ballpark.
"It's exciting," Drury said. "Any time you get a call to the big leagues, which is what you've worked your whole life for, it's definitely exciting. I'm just trying to have fun with it and really soak everything in."