Gregorius not letting slump affect his defense

Gregorius not letting slump affect his defense

PHOENIX -- Although he was just 2-for-29 at the plate since July 24 entering Friday, D-backs shortstop Didi Gregorius hasn't let the offensive slump carry over to his defense. The 23-year-old has remained a steady force at shortstop, delivering arguably his best game of the season in the field on Wednesday.

One play in particular stood out from the rest. In the fourth inning with a man on and nobody out, the shortstop began one of the best double plays of the year, ranging to his right and diving to snag a grounder in the hole before throwing side-armed while stretched out to second base. That was just one of a franchise-record six double plays Gregorius helped turn that night.

"For me, it's two different things, you don't need to carry everything with you all the time," Gregorius said. "It'd be the same if I made an error -- it wouldn't affect my next at-bat. You just have to play the game the way you play the game. Nobody is perfect."

That's not to say his bat isn't coming around though. Gregorius hit a couple balls hard into the outfield gaps Wednesday, but the Tampa Bay outfielders were able to run them down. The hard luck doesn't discourage Gregorius, though, as long as he knows his swing is where it needs to be.

"It's part of the game -- they have a scouting report on me for a reason, so it's not really frustrating," he said. "I just try to make contact every time I go out there and hit it hard."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.