Inbox: How will D-backs sort out middle infield?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert fields questions from fans

March 7th, 2018

How do you see the middle infield shaking out with Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed and ?

Karl K., Phoenix

By saying over the winter and again early in the spring that they viewed Owings' role as someone who sees time at a bunch of different positions, it seemed like the D-backs were leaning toward Ahmed at short and Marte at second. Owings has the mental toughness to handle moving around, as he has shown in previous seasons, and given manager Torey Lovullo's preference to make sure his players get regular rest, I'm sure they can find at-bats for Owings. They are giving Marte some reps at short this spring, but also at second, while Ahmed is going to play only short. That indicates to me that Ahmed is the likely starter there, with Marte at second.

Depending on how the three perform this spring, it could change, but that's the way it looks right now.

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Any chance D-backs make a push for ? I know the infield is crowded, but he's a seemingly cheap upgrade over any present options.

Matt, Crown Point, Ind.

Given the depth in the infield that you referenced, I don't see that happening right now. They are already looking at a record $130 million Opening Day payroll, and they will want to keep at least a little in reserve for a possible midseason addition.

With gone, who would/could be traded in exchange for pitching depth? Is A.J. Pollock back on the block? And what are they doing with ?

PJ, Goshen, Ind.

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I think they will continue to keep an eye on the free-agent market, as well as the waiver wire, as we get closer to the end of Spring Training, but I don't think there are any other deals in the works right now. The only way Pollock gets traded is if they somehow are out of the playoff race come July.

As for Tomas, it certainly seems like it's going to be hard for him to make the roster as things stand right now. The additions of Steven Souza Jr. and really put a squeeze on outfield playing time. If you lined up the roster right now, it would seem like the decision would come down to keeping Tomas or a third catcher. Keep in mind that Tomas has Minor League options, so they could always send him to Triple-A Reno and have him as depth should they need him. They could also put him on waivers -- it's unlikely a team would pick up the $42.5 million left on his deal -- and send him outright to Reno if no team claimed him. That would open up a spot on the 40-man roster to add a player who might end up making the Opening Day roster.