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D-backs have two big pieces back from DL

Owings to see more time at second base; Pollock returns to center field

D-backs have two big pieces back from DL play video for D-backs have two big pieces back from DL

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs activated A.J. Pollock and Chris Owings from the disabled list Tuesday, but only one appears headed back to his original position.

While Pollock was back in center field, Owings was given an extra day off, and when he does play this month, it appears most of his reps will come at second base rather than shortstop.

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Owings won the shortstop job this spring beating out Didi Gregorius, but he jammed his left shoulder while trying to stretch a triple into a home run on June 20 and was placed on the disabled list.

In his absence, Gregorius came up from Triple-A and became the regular shortstop. The team had Owings begin playing second base during his rehab stint with an eye towards getting him playing time there in September.

"It's the choice we've made for right now," Gibson said. "We want to give him a good look there. We know he can play shortstop, absolutely. Just moving in to try to make decisions toward next year. Who can play where, what your options are. I don't know what kind of moves they might consider making, who might have to get moved and so forth, but just made the decision to put him at second base for now."

Veteran second baseman Aaron Hill is under contract for two more years at $12 million per, but the team has had him taking ground balls at third base during batting practice over the past month. It's possible that the D-backs could try to pair Gregorius and Owings up the middle next year with Hill shifting to third.

Or the team could elect to deal Gregorius during the offseason and move Owings back to short, or use shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed there.

In other words, they have options.

Owings just wants to play, one way or another.

"I've been playing -- what, a week and a half, two weeks now -- and I feel like it's normal already," Owings said. "Wherever they want to put me at. I talked to Gibby a little bit and it looks like I'm going to be playing some second and maybe a little short too, but as long as I'm out there on the field. I don't have a problem as long as I'm out there on the field. It really doesn't matter."

Though Ender Inciarte played well in center while Pollock was on the DL, he was shifted to left field in deference to Pollock's superior defense in center.

"With his strong arm, he'll be able to have a big impact on the corner there in left field," Gibson said.

Pollock was hitting leadoff at the time of his injury, but Inciarte has done such a nice job at that spot he will stay there with Pollock hitting further down in the order.

"I think Ender has really seized his opportunity at the leadoff spot," Gibson said. "He really has a good understanding. He's scrappy. He gets on in a lot of different ways. He's a good bunter, he fake bunts, he slashes, he can turn on a ball. He's got real good bat control."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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