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

LISTEN: Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager

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.”