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D-backs' infield could have numerous combinations

Lamb, Ahmed, Segura and Gosselin among candidates for open spots
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Think you know what the D-backs' infield is going to look like on Opening Day?

Well, manager Chip Hale has a message for you: Don't be so sure.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Think you know what the D-backs' infield is going to look like on Opening Day?

Well, manager Chip Hale has a message for you: Don't be so sure.

Paul Goldschmidt is obviously set at first base, but the other three spots remain up for grabs, and there are many different ways the D-backs could go.

Candidates for the three spots include: Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury, Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings, Jean Segura and Phil Gosselin.

"There could be a different [combination] that anyone even thinks about," Hale said. "I mean, there's a lot of guys to fight for those jobs. There's going to be healthy competition."

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Here's a look at the key players:

Video: SD@ARI: Lamb's backhanded play ends the frame

Lamb: He has the leg up at third base not just based on his potential, but also because he is a left-handed hitter in a right-heavy lineup. He is a very good defender, which also helps his case.

Drury: If he doesn't win the starting job at second or third, he is likely ticketed for the Minors where he can play every day. The 23-year-old had an impressive spring last year, and if he does so again, he could make things tough on the staff.

Video: ARI@LAD: Ahmed lays out, throws for the forceout

Ahmed: One of the best defensive shortstops in the game, only Andrelton Simmons had more defensive runs saved at shortstop than he did in 2015. The D-backs would like to see some more production from Ahmed at the plate, but it's hard to take his glove out of the lineup.

Segura: The D-backs like the speed and athleticism he brings. Acquired from the Brewers in late January, Segura will see time at both short and second this spring as Hale experiments with different combinations.

Video: ARI@SF: Owings dives for the stop, throws out Duffy

Owings: Last year, he transitioned from short to second and did fine defensively, but at the plate he struggled. The team believes that was a result of Owings having to change his mechanics at the plate last spring after left shoulder surgery. Now, more than a year removed from surgery, the D-backs expect his bat to return to form.

Gosselin: It's easy to overlook Gosselin and pigeonhole him as a utility guy, but the D-backs were impressed with the way he swung the bat last season. His short stroke played well off the bench, but it also made them willing to give him a chance to win an everyday job at either second or third.

The trick for Hale this spring will be finding enough playing time for all of the candidates to make sure they get the needed at-bats.

Bradley at peace with rotation battle

"The competition is going to be fierce, so we have to give them all a fair chance," Hale said.

It also sounds like one way or the other -- whether it's starting at short or second, or coming off the bench -- Segura will be on the Opening Day roster.

"He's been a big leaguer for a long time," Hale said. "I'm sure he fits somewhere on this Major League roster. I really do."

How all the pieces will fit together will be fascinating to watch over the next six weeks.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks, Nick Ahmed, Phil Gosselin, Jake Lamb, Jean Segura