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To maximize at-bats, Owings to test second

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In an effort to get Chris Owings and Didi Gregorius in the lineup at the same time this spring, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson will use Owings at second at times.

Gregorius and Owings are competing for the starting shortstop job, and Gibson wants to get the young players as many at-bats as possible.

When there are split-squad contests, as on Thursday, each player gets to start at short. Owings will get some looks at second, though, to improve his versatility.

"I feel fine over there at second," said Owings, who has almost exclusively been a shortstop in the Minors. "The only real difference is the footwork on the double play."

"He's swinging the bat very well," Gibson said of Owings. "There's a lot of sock in that bat. He's had a great attitude about wherever we've asked him to go."

With a left-hander starting for the Rockies on Friday, Owings got the start at short with the left-handed-hitting Gregorius coming in later in the game.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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