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No April Fools - Willie Bloomquist is the Starting Opening Day SS | April
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With Stephen Drew still listed as Day-to-Day with abdominal soreness, Willie Bloomquist will be the starting shortstop on Opening Day for the Diamondbacks. Drew had an MRI earlier in the week which came back negative, so hopefully he will return to the lineup within a day or two. But in the meantime, Bloomquist will be starter, and will be batting leadoff on Opening Day against Ubaldo Jimenez. This is the same Willie Bloomquist who has played in the Majors for eight seasons, and never posted an OPS above .680. How is he defensively at SS?  Well, last year Bloomquist played for the Royals, who had two very poor defenders at SS in Yuniesky Betancourt and Mike Aviles, and yet Bloomquist was used for all on 1 inning at SS by the Royals.  But since Ryan Roberts' hot spring won a roster spot over Tony Abreu, Bloomquist is the best backup SS on the roster right now. If Drew has to be out for an extended period, Abreu will probably be recalled to play every day.

Also starting on Opening Day for the Diamondbacks will be Gerardo Parra and Juan Miranda. Parra will start in LF, ahead of Xavier Nady. This is a good move for several reasons :

  • As a left-handed batter, Parra should have better success than the right-handed Nady against RHP Jimenez. Nady will probably start on Saturday against LHP Jorge de la Rosa.
  • Defensively, Parra can cover the spacious outfield in Coors Field much better than Nady.
  • Parra has looked much better with the bat during Spring Training.
Juan Miranda is geting the start at 1B for the Diamondbacks. He has looked better defensively than Russell Branyan, and has been solid on offense. Manager Kirk Gibson will probably split time between these two left-handed 1B initially, and then will probably ride the hot-hand after the first few weeks.

Here is the Opening Day lineup for the Diamondbacks:
2) Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
3) Justin Upton (R) RF
4) Chris Young (R) CF
5) Juan Miranda (L) 1B
6) Melvin Mora (R) 3B
8) Gerardo Parra (L) LF
9) Ian Kennedy (R) P