Watch and Vote: Which Arizona infielder made the best catch Tuesday night?
When the Diamondbacks acquired Didi Gregorius from the Reds in the three-team trade that sent Trevor Bauer to the Indians and Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati in December, I criticized the Arizona for thinking that Gregorius would be the solution to their shortstop problems. My criticisms of Gregorius focused on his bat, saying that the left-handed hitter "has thus far proven incapable of hitting left-handed pitching" and that "he’s more of the sort of shortstop prospect that one hopes can hit enough to start in the majors, not a guaranteed full-time player, and certainly not a star." Gregorius hasn't done much to change my opinion of his hitting. Though he hit .322/.386/.497 over 168 plate appearances in his first 38 games for the Diamondbacks, he has hit .211/.293/.257 in his last 52 (192 PA) and just .202/.265/.250 in 113 plate appearances against lefties for the season.
That's not a hitter who can be an everyday player in the major leagues no matter how good his glove, but I have to tip my cap to the Diamondbacks nevertheless. The fact that they are taking an offensive hit with Gregorius in the lineup, after all, also means that we get to see the shortstop make plays like the two he made in a 10-9 win over the Padreslast night. First there was this sliding stop for the final out of the third inning. Then there was this play in shallow center for the final out of the seventh, which stands as one of the best plays I've seen all season.
[mlbvideo id="30099685" width="600" height="360" /]
Of course, I can't mention great fielding plays in Arizona Tuesday night without including this play by Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado, which came with the game tied 9-9, the bases loaded, and two outs in the top of the ninth.
[mlbvideo id="30108245" width="600" height="360" /]
Arizona, which has played losing baseball since the end of May, is a long-shot to make a run at a wild-card spot. But that's not due to a lack of effort on the part of their infielders.
The two videos above beg the following question: