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Inbox: Will Owings return to D-backs' bench?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers questions from fans
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

I know one doesn't typically lose their starting position due to injury, but it almost seems unfair that Chris Owings is doing so well and would go back on the bench when Steven Souza Jr. comes back. Any chance of Owings staying in the starting role?
-- Jessica, Baton Rouge La.

Souza started throwing again this past weekend and we'll see how it progresses and when he's able to return. Even with Souza starting in right, I think you'll see Owings get his share of at-bats, it will just be at a variety of positions. Depending on when Jake Lamb comes back, Owings could see some at-bats there and he could also see some time at second, short and the other two outfield positions. The plan in the offseason was to move him around to different positions to keep his bat in the lineup, and I think you'll see him in there even when Souza comes back.

I know one doesn't typically lose their starting position due to injury, but it almost seems unfair that Chris Owings is doing so well and would go back on the bench when Steven Souza Jr. comes back. Any chance of Owings staying in the starting role?
-- Jessica, Baton Rouge La.

Souza started throwing again this past weekend and we'll see how it progresses and when he's able to return. Even with Souza starting in right, I think you'll see Owings get his share of at-bats, it will just be at a variety of positions. Depending on when Jake Lamb comes back, Owings could see some at-bats there and he could also see some time at second, short and the other two outfield positions. The plan in the offseason was to move him around to different positions to keep his bat in the lineup, and I think you'll see him in there even when Souza comes back.

A lot of the D-backs' success this year is attributable to pitching. I know it's early, but do you think the humidor should get some credit for our successful start?
-- Bob, Oro Valley, Ariz.

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I think it will be fascinating to look at the end of this season and the years to come to see what, if any, impact the humidor is having at Chase Field. Right now, though, it's way too early to say. You make a good point about the pitching being good, but keep in mind the strength of this team last year was its pitching, particularly the starting rotation. So the fact that the D-backs are having success on the mound should not be a surprise. If their offense is a tick down, keep in mind that the club no longer has J.D. Martinez, while Souza has been out all year and Lamb has missed all but four games.

Why did Jon Duplantier start the season late?
-- Zach G., Phoenix

Duplantier, who is ranked as the organization's No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, opened the year on the disabled list with a right hamstring issue. He joined Double-A Jackson and allowed a pair of runs over five innings in his first start.

How long do you think Matt Koch stays in the rotation?
-- Tony H., Chicago

If he keeps pitching like he did in his first start, he won't come out of the rotation any time soon. Koch faces a situation much like Zack Godley did last year where he knows he has to perform every time out there in order to stay. Forgetting the short-term for a minute, the organization likes Koch a lot and was impressed with him this spring. Last year's struggles appear to have been related to him simply not being completely healthy.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Steven Souza Jr., Matt Koch, Chris Owings