When the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Cuban slugger, Yasmany Tomas, this past offseason, it was assumed that he would play one of the corner outfield positions. The Diamondbacks had other plans for him though.
Arizona is intent to make Tomas their new third baseman. The exact numbers of how many games Tomas has played at third base opposed to the outfield isn’t exactly known, but what is known, is that Tomas played most of his games in the outfield and not very many at third.
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Despite that, Arizona was willing to at least give him a look at the hot corner.
He reported to Salt River Fields before the official start of Spring Training to get a head start on his work at third. Initial reports from the Diamondbacks camp were positive saying that Tomas was impressing the coaches.
New Manager Chip Hale told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com,
"“I mean, this is before Spring Training, but I’m very encouraged with what I see with his feet and his hands. We can push him a little harder each day on stuff. We’re just going to see how it goes. His capability to take in information and put it into play right away is impressive. He’s got the basics down.”"
Just as Hale said, it was before Spring Training. Now that he has seen some in game MLB action, things are turning out to be a little different.
With some games under his belt, it’s been a bit of a struggle for him. After speaking with Hale, Gilbert tweeted out the Manager’s comments.
His struggles shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. He’s only 24 and is adjusting to a new country, a new culture, life as a major leaguer, a new position and the actual major league competition. Needless to say, it’s a lot to take in.
If Tomas’ struggles continue, he will be moved to left field. An outfield consisting of Mark Trumbo and Tomas won’t win many Gold Gloves, but it should produce a ton of offense.
There is still the rest of Spring Training before any final decisions are made though. Arizona isn’t going to give up on Tomas at third so quickly and it doesn’t sound like Hale has any real big issues with him at the position.
Although it’s interesting to watch this scenario play out, the 2015 fate of a few players hang in the balance of how well Tomas plays.
If he plays well enough at third to lock up the position, that will likely push out Jake Lamb who is nearing his full-time MLB duties. If he is moved to the outfield, he would probably take the place of David Peralta who was rather impressive during his time with the Diamondbacks last season.
It’ll be interesting to watch how this all plays out for the Diamondbacks. Arizona has plenty of quality options to fill the lineup whether Tomas sticks at third or not.