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Shortstop will be open competition for D-backs

LISTEN: Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager

For the third straight season, the Arizona Diamondbacks will head to spring training not knowing who their starting shortstop will be.

With Chris Owings turning in solid production during his first MLB stint and Didi Gregorius fading from his sizzling start, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said it’s safe to say that there will be a position battle at shortstop come March.

“As we’ve done in the past, we’re going to use spring to establish as much competition for playing time as we can,” Gibson told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns & Gambo Tuesday.

Owings was hitting .308 heading into Tuesday’s game at San Diego after being named the Pacific Coast League’s MVP and Rookie of the Year at Triple-A Reno, where he hit .330 with 12 home runs. Gregorius’ average has fallen to .255 after he hit well above .300 for the first few months of his time with Arizona.

Gibson said he’ll try to split playing time between the two the rest of this season.

“When you’re playing one guy two days, another guy the next two days, you’ll see the differences in their style of play,” Gibson said. “Owings is playing well for us right now … he deserves the chance to get comfortable up here.

“Didi is very talented. Chris is talented. Penny (Cliff Pennington) and Willie (Bloomquist) are playing their tails off. As we get into the offseason, we’ll have a lot of discussions about what way we’re gonna go.”

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