Updated Feb 20, 2013 - 5:24 pm
Kirk Gibson: Adam Eaton is going to have to earn CF job
And they may have been, but that future is not necessarily going to be 2013.
Eaton, who hit .259 with two home runs, five RBI and two stolen bases in just 22 games may have entered the offseason as the favorite to be the team's Opening Day center fielder, but the outfield is as crowded as ever and playing time is not guaranteed.
And that's exactly how manager Kirk Gibson likes it.
"He's got to win that job, I'm going to tell you that right now," the skipper told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Wednesday. Gibson noted that Eaton had a successful season in the minors and was solid in his brief Major League stint, but that doesn't matter. "It's a mistake for me to say 'yeah, he's going to be our center fielder and hope he gets 650-700 plate appearances' and think he's going to be able to handle that.
"That's a lot of responsibility. I want him to play center field every day, lead off. That's a tough go; just being a rookie is tough in itself."
Instead of handing Eaton the job, Gibson said he is hoping Eaton earns one, but doesn't want to "over-burden" the young player.
"I saw that with J-Up last year, you don't want any player to go through that," he said. "And you try to be proactive in that and stop that from happening or compounding too much where it's all of a sudden unmanageable, so that's a concern of mine with Adam."
That's not to say Gibson is not high on the 24-year-old, because he is. Saying he's kind of a 'throwback' player, the manager said it's important to see how he reacts to the pressure of being a big league ballplayer.
"When the competition starts," he said. "Everything's great now and this is a really positive part of the year and we love it and it's that way every year.
"When the stuff starts hitting the fan, then we see how people react to it. The pressure. It's tough."
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- D-backs CEO Derrick Hall says Tony La Russa will teach, but will not manage
- Diamondbacks fall to Nationals 1-0 on walk-off error: By The Numbers
- Nationals win 9th in row, nip D-backs in 9th
- D-backs fall to Nationals in another walk-off: By The Numbers
- D-backs GM Kevin Towers will keep doing job 'until they take away my office key'
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday August 21Derrick Hall gives his thoughts on the new MLB commissioner.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 20Tim Kurkjian discusses the American League wild card race and the future of Kirk Gibson.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday August 20Kevin Towers talks about the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Friday August 15Tim Kurkjian discusses what new commissioner Rob Manfred means for Major League Baseball.
- What's on your mind? - Friday August 15Vince Marotta shares what he is thinking about this week.