D-backs want Drury to focus on second base

D-backs want Drury to focus on second base

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- After listening to general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo talk Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, it certainly seems like Brandon Drury could see quite a bit of playing time at second base for the D-backs in 2017.

Last year was Drury's first full year in the big leagues and he spent most of it in the outfield, a position he had never played before. During his Minor League career, he played third base as well as some second.

Despite being thrust into the outfield, he managed to put up good numbers at the plate with a slash line of .282/.329/.458.

Figuring out where Drury will play in 2017 requires a little piecing together of the statements made by Hazen and Lovullo.

First, Lovullo said Jake Lamb would figure to be the everyday third baseman.

Then Hazen was asked if getting consistent at-bats for Drury was a priority this year.

"We're going to try and get as many at-bats for our best players, so he would be one of those," Hazen said.

And with the D-backs pledging to be better defensively in the outfield, it would seem that most of Drury's at-bats would come at second base.

"I want him to know that while he's preparing this offseason that he can make most of his thoughts around preparing himself as an infielder," Lovullo said. "We know we asked a lot of him last year when we asked him to shift over to the outfield, and he did a great job, but we want to simplify things as much as possible, and I think that we are going to head in that direction."

In his conversations with Drury since taking over as manager, Lovullo said Drury has told him he is working to improve both his flexibility and first-step quickness.

Still, nothing is promised to Drury as Lovullo emphasized the playing time at short and second would be based on competition during Spring Training.

Hazen on Goldschmidt

And when it comes to everyday at-bats, Hazen cautions that does not mean every single day.

"Torey and I have talked a lot about having a strategy," Hazen said. "Even early days off when guys are fresh can pay dividends down the road. There's going to be times you're going to ride them when they're hot and they're going to want to stay in there and not come out and that's going to happen. I think you still have to pick and choose the times when you sit down and explain, 'I know you still want to be in there, but today might be a day to take a breather.'"

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.