Gibson rests Owings day after near-cycle

Gibson rests Owings day after near-cycle

DENVER -- D-backs shortstop Chris Owings missed hitting for the cycle by a single Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, he was out of the lineup.

Kirk Gibson knows that decision will cause some to scratch their heads, but the D-backs manager believes that Owings is best served during his rookie year by getting the occasional day off.

And one thing Gibson does not want to do is have Owings think he's sitting because he's not playing well. So with that in mind, Gibson tells Owings before the game the day before he plans on sitting him.

In other words, he told him pregame Tuesday that newly-recalled Didi Gregorius would get the start at short on Wednesday.

"The way I think it's been most effective for him, I've played him a couple of days and given him a day off to sit back and watch the game and talk about things that happen within the game," Gibson said. "Trying to take some pressure off him."

Whereas Gibson would play backup shortstop Cliff Pennington once a week, he knows he must get Gregorius more time than that if he wants him to continue to develop.

At the same time, he has to be careful to not hurt Owings' confidence or have him looking over his shoulder when it comes to Gregorius, so look for Gibson to give Gregorius some time at second when he rests Aaron Hill.

"I talked to C.O. about it today and told him this is the way we're going to progress right now," Gibson said. "We're going to have a different rotation. I look at Chris Owings as having a very good year right now. He has all the makings of a championship player. And certainly somebody we think very highly of. I don't want him to get disappointed or look over his shoulder.

"It's just the way it's going to work for the team right now. He's totally open to that and he'll be ready whenever I ask him to be ready."

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.