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Owings comes out swinging after winning job

Owings comes out swinging after winning job

DENVER -- Getting off to a good start is obviously a plus for any player, but it can have an even bigger impact on a rookie.

Shortstop Chris Owings beat out Didi Gregorius for the D-backs' starting shortstop job in a competition that went down to the final day of the spring. In the recent four-game series against the Giants, Owings went 7-for-14.

"I think you want all your players to get comfortable as you go into the season, and for younger guys, it's probably tougher if they're not," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Owings' hot start. "So it is important."

While Owings realized that he had success numbers-wise against the Giants, that was not his main focus.

"For me, I'm just trying to go out and have good at-bats," he said. "Right now, I'm obviously getting good results, but I'm just trying to have good at-bats. I've gotten down 0-2 a few times, but I've just battled and tried to put the ball in play."

Owings has drawn praise from teammates and coaches for the way he has welcomed suggestions.

"He's all ears, he's very engaged, he's very open-minded, he's a sponge," Gibson said. "[He's] real good that way."

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.

{"content":["opening_week" ] }
{"content":["opening_week" ] }