Newest D-backs ready for playoff opportunity

Aug 23, 2011, 10:23 PM | Updated: 11:36 pm

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks have made a trade sending second baseman Kelly Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays for second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop John McDonald.

The players coming to Arizona are excited to be joining a team in the middle of a pennant chase.

“It’s an opportunity I wake up every morning thinking about,” McDonald told the Toronto Globe and Mail. “It’s kind of what every baseball player wants, you want to try and play in the post season. I’m extremely excited for that opportunity.”

McDonald, who is hitting .250 in 65 games this season, will take some of the pressure off Willie Bloomquist giving him a day off from time to time.

“One of the things we didn’t like was to put that much activity on Willie Bloomquist at shortstop. We were already playing him too much,” said manager Kirk Gibson on Tuesday.

Arizona has been lacking depth at the position since Stephen Drew got injured.

Aaron Hill will take over starting everyday at second base in place of the departed Kelly Johnson.

It will be a difficult transition for Hill considering he has spent his entire career in the Toronto organization since being selected 13th overall in the 2003 draft.

“This is a little tough obviously,” Hill said. “This is all I’ve known.”

Hill has struggled to regain the form from 2009 where he belted 36 home runs and drove in 108 RBI’s.

The second baseman is only batting .225 with six home runs this season, so maybe a change in scenery will spark his bat.

Penguin Air

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