Stone Garrett embraces competition for spot in Diamondbacks’ outfield
Oct 3, 2022, 7:34 AM | Updated: 11:20 am
Stone Garrett is using the final week of the Diamondbacks’ season to cement the notion that he belongs in Major League Baseball on a regular basis.
The problem is he’s an outfielder, and Arizona is loaded with young outfielders who, like Garrett, want to be everyday players.
Garrett, who played his 25th game in the big leagues on Saturday at San Francisco, said he’s starting to feel at home at this level.
“It feels great,” Garrett told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Friday. “Finally getting up to speed with on-the-field (and) off-the-field stuff. A lot of guys from (Triple-A) Reno are up here, too. We’re all getting comfortable up here in the aspect of how things work — lineup changes during the game — and just getting up to speed.”
Garrett has been competing with Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas for playing time in the final weeks of the season. But there’s only three spots in the lineup — four with the designated hitter — for them, so manager Torey Lovullo has been rotating and playing matchups.
Garrett said it’s a friendly competition among the group.
“I can honestly say that there’s no bitterness between any of us,” Garrett said. “We all like to see each other succeed and go out there and compete. But yeah, there’s a lot of guys competing for the jobs. So you’ve got to roll into spring training (next season) on your ‘A’ game if you want to make the Opening Day roster. This will be my first big league camp. I was never lucky enough to be invited to big league camp, which will be fun. I’ll just show up healthy, looking to compete.”
Garrett is working on becoming a better outfielder so Lovullo won’t feel compelled to pull him from games for defensive reasons. He also wants to cut down on striking out.
“I think the biggest challenge for myself is more contact for next year, putting the ball in play a little bit more because when I do it comes off the bat hot so that leads to hits,” Garrett said. “Just putting the ball in play in general leads to good things.”
So what’s Garrett’s strategy for the last few games of the season?
“Just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he said. “I’m not sure how many times I’ll be in there, but just compete and go out on a strong note.”