Whether the Diamondbacks have received any dividends at this point on their $68.5 million investment for Yasmany Tomas is not certain.
Yet, one thing has become clear.
Tomas is quietly making an important adjustment to life in North America and adapting to new customs and a new culture. Now, the Diamondbacks are waiting for similar adjustments, like the strengthen of his baseball skills, and improving coordination and agility.
Plus, Tomas seems to address skills the Diamondbacks would like to see improve.
For one, his fielding, especially at third base, continues to be a work in progress. Tomas, who played the outfield and third in his native Cuba before defecting to Haiti, was “penciled in” as the Diamondbacks third baseman at the commencement of spring training.
Upon arrival at the organization’s training facility at Salt River in late January, Tomas was slow to embrace third base full-time. His weight, listed at 255 pounds in the Diamondbacks media guide, compromised on his flexibility and mobility. Still, the team stuck with Tomas, and hoped his skills would improve. Eventually, Jake Lamb beat him out in spring training to win the third base job, and Tomas began to the season at Triple-A Reno.
When recalled last week in San Diego, Tomas was hitting .190 (4-for-21) at Reno, but the Diamondbacks said they wanted a solid right-handed bat off the bench.
Now with Lamb on the disabled list with a stress reaction to his left ankle, Tomas will get more playing time at third. That happened Tuesday night, and right after the Diamondbacks announced Lamb was sent to the DL.
Hitting sixth in the line-up against the Rangers, Tomas went 2-for-3, and raised his average, since his call-up, to .429 (3-for-7).
“I feel fine, and my goal is to do my best,” he said through Ariel Prieto, the club’s interpreter. “It’s bad what happened to Jake because he’s so important for the team. If they call me, I’m ready.”
With Lamb out for likely the next three weeks, manager Chip Hale said third base now is not Tomas’ exclusive domain. That was evident Wednesday night when Aaron Hill started at third against the Rangers’ Yovani Gallardo. Save Hill, Hale also said he has Cliff Pennington and Jordan Pacheco as options at third.
Because he failed to impress with strong defensive skills at third, Hale said Tomas’ future in the organization is likely as a corner outfielder. With Lamb out, however, expect to see more of Tomas at third than in the outfield.
For now, Tomas stands as a sentinel, bat ready at his post, to answer just about any call on the baseball diamond.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE BALL PARK
Right-hander Archie Bradley continues to dazzle opponents.
Shutting down the Rangers with six solid innings, Bradley etched his name into the record books, and emerged as the Diamondbacks most dependable starter in the opening two weeks of the season.
On Wednesday night, the 22-year-old out of Muskogee, Okla. allowed only two hits and one run in helping to defeat Texas, 8-5 before 17,886 in Chase Field. Bradley left leading 5-1, but the Rangers made things interesting with a four-spot in the ninth against reliever Andrew Chafin.
Yet, the night belonged to Bradley.
In the process over his first three starts, Bradley established a team record with a 1.45 ERA. That beat, by over one run, the previous mark set by Tyler Skaggs of 2.60 in 2012.
Based on his performance Wednesday night, Bradley is only the fifth pitcher since 1914 to allow two or less hits and pitch six or more innings in two of his first three major starts.
The others include Travis Wood in 2010, Ken Cloude in 1997, Marvin Freeman in 1986, and Wayne Simpson n 1970.
Chris Owings powered the eight-run, eight hit attack with his first home run of the season along with a triple, and A. J. Pollock and Mark Trumbo contributed with two hits each.
The home stand continues this weekend with the Pittsburgh Pirates in town for three. The Colorado Rockies then conclude the latest string of games in Chase Field with three next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
From there, the Diamondbacks set out on a six game road trip to Dodger Stadium for three with L. A. and then in Coors Field, also for three, against the Rockies.