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Lovullo: Diamondbacks SS Chris Owings trending in ‘positive direction’

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Owings celebrates in the dugout after scoring on an RBI sacrifice fly by Daniel Descalso off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sal Romano during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings is “trending in a very positive direction” after suffering a fractured finger that put him on the disabled list on July 31, manager Torey Lovullo said on Wednesday.

“He and Jeff Mathis are trending in a very good direction,” the D-backs skipper added. “They were given clearance to do some of their next-level stuff a few days ago. In Chris’ case, he can get out in the field, take groundballs. He can work on his grip-strength, get a bat in his hand.”

Owings, who had hit .268 with career highs of 12 home runs and 51 RBI before August, broke his finger by taking a pitch to the hand just before the trade deadline.

The injury was one of a few that prompted D-backs general manager Mike Hazen to acquire veteran utility man Adam Rosales from the Oakland Athletics.

Rosales has backed up regular Ketel Marte since Arizona lost Nick Ahmed and Owings, who began the year as the shortstop tandem.

While Owings won’t be able to return from the 60-day disabled list for another two weeks, Mathis is still recovering from a broken hand suffered Aug. 21. He is only on the 10-day disabled list.

Lovullo added the team has yet to discuss how Owings could be rehabbed, though he did add they could take advantage of getting in work with the pitching staff during time off — assuming Arizona holds onto a playoff spot.

Order shuffling for Pollock

For the first time this season, center fielder A.J. Pollock will bat seventh in the order against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

In the last week, he’s hit in sixth, behind J.D. Martinez, and third, before Paul Goldschmidt.

“I just thought that it would be good to have a left-handed bat (Daniel Descalso) sitting in back of J.D.” Lovullo said Wednesday. “In light of what has been happening with A.J. for a little while, I thought it would be a nice way to take a little pressure off of him, get him back to the neutral corner that I talked about and just get him back on his feet a little bit.”

Pollock is batting .255 for the year but sits at .228 since the All-Star break.

In August, he hit just .189, and those struggles have carried over into 39 at-bats through part of September. He’s only had two hits in his last 22 at-bats.

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