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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated Mar 12, 2013 - 3:22 pm

D-backs manager says staying healthy is key for Adam Eaton

Arizona Diamondbacks' Adam Eaton dives back safely to first base after a fly out to centerfield by Martin Prado during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 in Scottsdale. Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Arizona Diamondbacks want Adam Eaton to be the every day center fielder.

A sparkplug at the top of the order, Eaton's speed and ability to get on base would be huge for a Diamondbacks team that figures to manufacture the majority of its runs this season.

"You can see the things that he brings to our ball club," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Tuesday. "He learns things every day."

Gibson said one of the things Eaton still needs to learn is how to stay healthy. The 24-year-old lost part of last season due to a broken hand, and Gibson noted Eaton's style of play, which makes him effective, is also part of what makes him a little injury prone.

"I don't know if you've ever watched how he runs down to first base, how even if he's out by 10 feet and he lunges at the bag," Gibson said. "And that's just not good, it's not smart."

Gibson said he discusses stuff like that with Eaton, who is hitting .395 with two home runs, nine RBI and one stolen base this spring. It's about being able to make it through an entire season, after all.

"One day he hit the bat, and the bat rack after he struck out," Gibson said. "That's a good way to get out of the lineup."

Gibson said Eaton "cares so much" that he has to pull back on the reins a little bit at times, all in an effort to get as much out of the player as possible.

"It's important to play him so you can help fine-tune his game and put some polish on it," Gibson said. "So he understands how he can best help his club throughout the whole year."

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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