Lovullo: D-backs ‘fortunate’ to have depth at SS with Owings, Ahmed out
PHOENIX — If there was one reaction to circulate around the Arizona Diamondbacks at the start of the week, it had to have been that they were fortunate despite rough circumstances.
“Fortunate” was a word D-backs manager Torey Lovullo used to describe the depth at shortstop.
With starter Chris Owings on the 60-day DL since late July because of a fractured finger, the blow of shortstop Nick Ahmed fracturing his wrist in his second rehab game on the day he was eligible to return from the 60-day DL hit that much worse.
Both had started in the past few seasons, and now both could possibly miss the rest of the season during a Wild Card race for a franchise that hasn’t played postseason baseball since 2011.
“If we play that deep into the season that we want to and we are hoping to, it may overlap with Nick Ahmed (returning), and we’re going to hold hope that happens,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
It’s a situation that would leave many teams hopeless but not Arizona.
“We’ve lost our two main shortstops from day number one and we have filled that in with some real quality depth and some moves that have allowed us to be competitive at that position and at times excel at that position,” Lovullo said before Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lovullo is speaking of shortstops Ketel Marte and Adam Rosales, both acquisitions of first-year general manager Mike Hazen.
Marte left Saturday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants with tightness in his left hamstring, but has been playing well in place of Owings and Ahmed. He’s hitting .256, and with a team that has great hitters up and down the lineup, that’s all they need.
“Thank goodness we have that depth because Ketel is our starting shortstop,” Lovullo said.
Marte was initially in the lineup Tuesday, but was replaced by Rosales in a latter update. Lovullo said he got ahead of himself and it was not due to anything flaring up for Marte. He will be available off the bench if needed.
As for Rosales, he provides the team another option in case something were to happen to Marte, such as his aforementioned hamstring injury.
Regarding the possibility of September call-ups providing even more of a cushion, Lovullo said it has been discussed, but the D-backs feel comfortable at both the minor league and major league level.
“It’s a credit to everybody that’s formed this team,” Lovullo said.