Reports: Ketel Marte could play CF for D-backs, Jake Lamb to 1B

Dec 11, 2018, 8:58 AM | Updated: 2:35 pm
(AP Photos)...
(AP Photos)
(AP Photos)

Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings are taking place in Las Vegas as reports surfaced Monday that the D-backs could switch up the defensive use of some of their players.

The news came not long after the the D-backs traded first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, free agent center fielder A.J. Pollock could be next to officially take a job elsewhere.

With those players absent, the D-backs have some holes to fill on their roster. That’s why GM Mike Hazen told reporters Monday — including’s Steve Gilbert — that a trade or a move of infielder Ketel Marte to center field would be necessary if Pollock does in fact sign with another team. Additionally, with Goldschmidt gone, third baseman Jake Lamb will see playing time at first base, Gilbert wrote.

“He’s still going to play third base as well,” Hazen said. “I think having some flexibility with the entire infield is going to be important, depending on how matchups stack up. We obviously have a few right-handed-hitting first basemen on the roster that provide a natural complement there if we went in that direction.”

As Hazen alluded to, the D-backs could employ right-handed hitting options at first base for games in which Arizona is facing a left-handed pitcher. Lamb, a left-handed hitting 28-year-old who had season-ending shoulder surgery last year, is a career .160 hitter against lefties, compared to .269 against righties in his five-year career.

At third base when Lamb isn’t playing there, the D-backs have Eduardo Escobar to field the position. Arizona signed Escobar to a three-year deal in October worth a reported $21 million after the D-backs traded for the 29-year-old in July. Escobar is a switch-hitter.

If Lamb isn’t at first base, the D-backs can play Christian Walker or Kevin Cron there, as Gilbert pointed out.

Walker has played 61 career big league games over parts of four seasons. Last year, the right-handed hitter played 37 games with the D-backs, hitting .163 with three home runs, though many of his appearances were in-game substitutions and pinch-hit appearances. He had 53 plate appearances in those 37 games.

Cron is 25 years old and has yet to make his major league debut, but the third-round pick in 2011 hit .309 with 22 round-trippers in 104 games in Reno last year. He was named a Pacific Cost League post-season All-Star in 2018.

Of course, having Marte in center field would create some need in the infield, where Arizona already has Nick Ahmed and Ildemaro Vargas (26 career MLB games). Daniel Descalso is a free agent, and Arizona already non-tendered Chris Owings this offseason.

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Alek Thomas #5 of the Arizona Diamondbacks can not catch a home run ball hit by Brandon Crawford #3...
Kellan Olson

Ian Kennedy blows save, gives up walk-off HR in D-backs’ loss to Giants

The Diamondbacks were one strike away from a win over the Giants on before Brandon Crawford's two-run walk-off homer.
1 day ago
Rodolfo Castro #14 of the Pittsburgh Pirates slides into third base as his cell phone falls out of ...
Associated Press

Pirates’ Castro suspended 1 game for phone goof vs. Diamondbacks

Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro was suspended for one game by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for having a cellphone in his back pocket.
1 day ago
Infielder Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks whips the ball to first base after tagging out...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks’ Lovullo expects SS Nick Ahmed to miss rest of season

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said on Burns & Gambo Tuesday he thinks shortstop Nick Ahmed will miss the rest of the season.
1 day ago
Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks prepares for batting practice prior to the 2022 Siriu...
Arizona Sports

D-backs’ Corbin Carroll rises to No. 1 in prospect rankings for ESPN’s McDaniel

Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Corbin Carroll's stature has grown as quickly as he's recovered from a shoulder injury.
1 day ago
San Francisco Giants' Evan Longoria runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Ari...
Associated Press

Diamondbacks’ Bumgarner gives up 6 runs in loss to Giants

The Arizona Diamondbacks' Madison Bumgarner lasted 5.2 innings and allowed six earned runs against his former team, the San Francisco Giants.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, left, congratulates Christian Walker, right, who crosses home pl...
Associated Press

D-backs’ Christian Walker drives in 4 runs in win over Rockies

Christian Walker had four hits and drove in four runs, leading rookie Tommy Henry and the D-backs over the Rockies 7-4 Sunday.
3 days ago
Reports: Ketel Marte could play CF for D-backs, Jake Lamb to 1B