Sports News

Blaze Alexander Gets Lots of Answers at Third Base

Blaze Alexander starts at third base for the Diamondbacks tonight against the Angels righty Jose Sorianopushing Eugenio Suárez on the bench. It’s Alexander’s third start at the hot corner, but that will be a frequent occurrence.

Manager Torey Lovullo told Arizona Rhythm that Alexander will take more playing time at third base (link via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic). Lovullo stopped short of calling it Suárez’s bench but acknowledged that tonight was “number one day of a little bit of a change” in how the playing time is divided.

“I’m curious about Blaze,” Lovullo said. “Offensively, he was playing at a very high level. The defense has improved quickly. I felt like it was time to give him a few more chances, a few more reps.” Alexander was on the roster for 38 of Arizona’s 67 games. He made 16 starts at shortstop, eight games at second base and earned 12 hits as the designated hitter and his starting third baseman.

ID-Backs have been restored Geraldo Perdomo on the injured list last night. He resumes his role as an everyday shortstop, season Ketel Marte locked on second base. Joc Pederson works as a designated hitter against right-handed pitching. That leaves third base as the only spot for Alexander to get reps, unless the D-Backs want to use him on the short side of the platoon with Pederson at DH.

Alexander, 25, managed good numbers in his first campaign. He owns a .279/.345/.403 line over 142 plate appearances. Alexander’s batted ball metrics do not match his bottom line output. He puts the ball in play half the time he puts it in play, and a .371 average on balls in play hides a 26.1% strikeout rate. Alexander had a strong team split. He’s hitting .217/.280/.290 over 75 plate appearances against right-handed pitching; he slugged the southpaw to the tune of .350/.418/.533 in 67 outings.

While Alexander played well, the D-Backs wouldn’t have gotten him many base reps if not for Suárez’s disappointing year. He is hitting .197/.263/.312 in 262 plate appearances. Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote over the weekend that the D-Backs were open to trading Suárez, even though it would be difficult to shed much of his $12MM salary. Nightengale suggested that Arizona would reduce Suárez’s playing time if he sticks with the roster, and it appears that will happen.

ID-Backs sent a backup handler Seby Zavala and a hard-throwing shortstop Carlos Vargas, who spent the season in Triple-A, went to Seattle for Suárez last November. The M’s biggest complaint was getting out of the final year of Suárez’s contract. Arizona also owes him a $2MM buyout with a $15MM club option that could be declined next season.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button