During the grind which is the major league baseball season, manager Chip Hale would like to give his productive players time off and away from the game.
Now, he has an opportunity, but key players may not have anything with this strategy.
That’s because the Diamondbacks will engage American League teams on the road for the next week.
With three games slated in Seattle and three more in Houston, Hale will pencil the Designated Hitter into this lineup. At the same, this is an opportunity to rotate four outfielders whom he would like to play all at the same time.
Through the course of the season, Hale pointed out he wanted to rest Paul Goldschmidt and A J. Pollock, two of his best players but also two who continue to play inning after inning.
Going forward this coming week, Hale said he has come up with a solution.
“I plan to use DH a different guy each day,” Hale said before Sunday’s game with the Brewers. “I had not thought about DHing Pollock, but that’s not a bad idea. That gives me an opportunity to get the four outfielders playing time.”
With David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, Yasmany Tomas and Pollock on the radar screen, Hale now the occasion to place these players within a constructive cycle.
True to his declaration, Hale used four different players in the four previous DH opportunities.
Against the Angels in Anaheim, Hale used Tomas as his DH on June 15 and Goldschmidt the next day. In games against the Rangers in Arlington, Hale appointed Jarrod Saltalamacchia as his DH on July 7 and Aaron Hill in the next game.
Yet, the case for Goldschmidt appears different.
“No, (Goldschmidt) does not prefer to DH,” Hale said. “In Houston, I don’t think there’s a chance he’s go that way.”
Houston is also Goldschmidt’s home town, and Hale promises not to comprise on Goldschmidt’s penchant for playing every day.
Going into the road trip, Hale did not discount using several to DH.
Perhaps on the top of the list is Tomas, whom Hale said may be feeling the fatigue of a long season, and pitchers around the league learning how to pitch the Cuban native.
“There no issue with (Tomas’) swing,” Hale said. “He needs to exercise a little more judgment on the pitches he swings.”
Perhaps the issue is discipline or restraint.
Whatever the case, Tomas continues to lead National League rookies in batting average with a mark of .302 and multi-hit games, second among rookies in hits, and among rookie leaders in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, extra base hits, doubles and home runs.
Before Sunday’s game, manager Chip Hale took time to reflect on Randy Johnson’s induction in the Hall of Fame.
In ceremonies at Cooperstown, N. Y. the hallowed halls of the game made room for Craig Biggio, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Johnson, who all received their plagues and enshrinement.
Growing up in the Bay Area, Hale had occasion to face Johnson, from Livermore near Oakland, in high school and college. At the collegiate level, Johnson pitched for the University of Southern California and Hale played for the University of Arizona.
“(Johnson) was always a mean guy on the mound,” Hale said. “You were always afraid, you were always scared.”
Though Hale, who played for Minnesota as an infielder, he did not face Johnson in the majors, but offered plenty of praise.
“Randy was a tremendous display of talent,” Hale said. “What a great honor for him, and the city.”
Johnson’s Hall of Fame plaque will be displayed in Chase Field on August 7 and 8 during the Diamondbacks next home stand. Johnson’s number 51 will be retired on Saturday August 8 during a ceremony also in Chase Field.