D-backs shouldn’t expect much from Branyan

Mar 31, 2011, 12:30 AM | Updated: 2:34 am

PHOENIX – Maybe the best player for the Arizona Diamondbacks in spring training has been new addition Russell Branyan.

One of the team’s biggest holes is first base, so naturally many have gotten excited that Branyan, after swinging such a hot bat, could be the answer at that position or at least used in a platoon role.

While logical, it would be foolish to think this.

Look, Branyan’s spring numbers are impressive (.429 batting average, 5 HR’s and 21 RBI’s), but you have to look at his performance throughout his MLB career which is less than impressive.

Even Branyan himself admitted, “Numbers don’t mean a whole lot in spring training,” on Wednesday.

As for numbers that do count, Branyan is a career .234 hitter and his average strikeout totals per at-bat aren’t that far behind Mark Reynolds.

The Diamondbacks are Branyan’s 10th Major League team in 12 seasons.

He has played for basically a new team every season he has been in the Majors making him a prototypical journeyman.

While Branyan did hit 31 and 25 HR’s the past two seasons, it’s unlikely he will repeat those numbers in Arizona because he’s a severe defensive liability over at first base which will prevent him from getting many starts.

Branyan is much more suited to a DH-type role with an American League team like he had the past two seasons with the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians.

In addition, the Diamondbacks are building for the future and they need to find out what younger players like Juan Miranda can bring to the table.

Manager Kirk Gibson seemed to project this when asked who would see the bulk of playing time at first.

“Juan Miranda will get the majority of the time. It’s his time to find out how good he can be,” said Gibson on the Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash show on Wednesday.

Most likely, Gibson will relegate Branyan to pitch-hitting late in games when the Diamondbacks need a big home run to get back in a game.

That would be a wise move on Gibson’s part to put Branyan in a role where he can actually make a solid contribution to the team.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Anthony Misiewicz #72 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait during St. Louis Cardinals Ph...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks option LHP Anthony Misiewicz to Triple-A Reno; Corbin Martin to 60-day IL

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded cash considerations to acquire left-handed pitcher Anthony Misiewicz from the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
17 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Kyle Lewis, right, scores after hitting a two-run home run as Los Angeles Dod...
Associated Press

D-backs stun Dodgers with pinch-hit homer in 8th inning

Kyle Lewis had a pinch-hit, go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Dodgers 2-1 on Friday night.
2 days ago
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

How to watch the Suns, D-backs and Coyotes on Friday

It's going to be a busy night of athletics to end March with three of the Valley's four major sports teams in action on Friday.
2 days ago
Follow @AZSports...
Haboob Blog

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. lives every emotion as Dodgers fan proposes on field, gets walloped

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went from celebrating to shock as a Dodgers fan who ran onto the field proposed before getting tackled.
2 days ago
Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers opening pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the...
Arizona Sports

D-backs take issue with new Dodger Stadium LED lights

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo didn't blame the Dodger Stadium LED lights for a loss, but he did not like how they changed during play.
2 days ago
Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Zac Gallen roughed up in Opening Day loss to Dodgers despite 7 Ks

Zac Gallen struggled with the PitchCom device throughout his outing, having to place it back on his glove after it fell off multiple times.
2 days ago
D-backs shouldn’t expect much from Branyan