Arizona Diamondbacks’ Didi Gregorius welcomes infield competition

Feb 19, 2014, 9:47 PM | Updated: 9:48 pm
LISTEN: Didi Gregorius, D-backs shortstop

Didi Gregorius is no stranger to competition, in fact he welcomes it.

The 24-year-old Arizona Diamondbacks infielder enters his second season in a position battle for the starting shortstop role after playing only 111 career games.

“Every sport for me is competition,” Gregorius told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Right now it is Chris Owings and veteran Cliff Pennington who Gregorius will battle in spring training for the starting gig.

“I really want the position to be mine but it’s not in my hands,” the Netherlands native said. “Last year I didn’t do much in spring because I was injured but this year has been going good. I’m just going to go out there and play my game.”

After starting last year on the disabled list due to a right elbow injury that didn’t allow him to throw, he was called up from AAA Reno on April 16 after Aaron Hill suffered a broken hand.

Two days later, on the first pitch in his first at-bat, Gregorius launched his first career homer off of Yankee pitcher Phil Hughes.

Gregorius enjoyed a hot start to the season last year, batting .275 in the first half, but cooled down after the All-Star break. Gregorius ended his rookie campaign with a .252 average, seven home runs and 47 runs scored.

While Gregorius shines on the defensive side with a .971 fielding percentage and speed to cover most of the middle infield, his younger teammate Owings is known for being a superior hitter.

Owings was called up to the D-backs on September 1 after being drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft. His offensive production earned him the 2013 Pacific Coast League Player of the Year while batting .330 for AAA Reno.

“Competition for me is something natural and normal,” Gregorius said. “It’s not something new for me and the competition makes the best of you come out.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Col...
Associated Press

D-backs squander 5-run lead in solid start from Gallen, lose to Rockies

Zac Gallen turned in another solid performance at hitter friendly Coors Field but the D-backs were unable to pick up the win.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta follows the flight of his single off Colorado Rockies starting ...
Alex Weiner

D-backs’ David Peralta blasts grand slam, climbs franchise HR list

D-backs outfielder David Peralta shot a hanging slider deep into the stands of right field for his third career grand slam.
1 day ago
Ryan McMahon #24 of the Colorado Rockies scores on a Kris Bryant RBI single against the Arizona Dia...
Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks pitching gets rocked in loss to Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies scored 11 runs on 12 hits off of Arizona Diamondbacks pitching as the D-backs fell 11-7 on Saturday night at Coors Field.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel works against the Colorado Rockies during the ...
Jake Anderson

Dallas Keuchel roughed up in 2nd start for Diamondbacks vs. Rockies

It was a rough day at the office for D-backs left-handed starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel against the Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday night.
2 days ago
Cooper Hummel #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his home run against the Washington Nation...
Alex Weiner

D-backs recall OF Cooper Hummel, option 1B/OF Pavin Smith

The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled rookie Cooper Hummel and optioned first baseman Pavin Smith to Triple-A Reno, the team announced Saturday.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo / @Padres)...
Arizona Sports

San Diego Padres unveil colorful City Connect uniforms

The San Diego Padres released MLB's newest and perhaps most colorful City Connect uniforms with a blend of pink, green and yellow.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Didi Gregorius welcomes infield competition