Elmore embraces opportunity at more playing time

Elmore embraces opportunity at more playing time

Elmore embraces opportunity at more playing time
PHOENIX -- Called up from Triple-A on Aug. 11, D-backs shortstop Jake Elmore didn't make his first Major League start until five days later when a late scratch from the lineup thrust him into the game.

But after the club shipped longtime shortstop staple Stephen Drew to the Athletics on Monday, Elmore figures to see consistent playing time in the infield, even when veteran infielder Willie Bloomquist comes off the disabled list later this week.

"I hope that's what it means, obviously," Elmore said. "If [the trade] creates more at-bats, I'm thankful, and hopefully I take advantage of them."

When Bloomquist does rejoin the team, the D-backs plan to platoon the position, starting a player on a certain day based on matchups.

"We'll probably rotate them and keep everybody fresh," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I couldn't use Willy too many days in a row, because he's not as effective. If a guy does get hot, you tend to play him more. The game will dictate how I use guys."

Back when Elmore wasn't seeing the field consistently, it made for a tough transition for the 25-year-old, who was an everyday player at Reno.

"It might've been a little bit of an adjustment, but I took it in stride," Elmore said. "I knew there were veteran players ahead of me, and they've been here a long time. I wasn't expecting to come up and start in front of them every day."

But after starting at shortstop and batting eighth on Tuesday, Elmore has appeared in six consecutive games, allowing him to get into a rhythm on the diamond.

"I'm more comfortable running out on the field," he said. "As simple as that sounds, the first couple times you go out, you can get caught up in the stadium and the jumbotron. You adapt to that fairly quick; then it's just baseball again."

In 13 at-bats entering Tuesday, Elmore has four hits, including a double.