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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-11-29

Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-11-29

Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-11-29
--INF Damion Easley has drawn interest from the D-backs as a possible platoon candidate at second base and "super sub," and the sides have had preliminary talks. Easley, who lives in suburban Phoenix, hit .233 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 189 at-bats with the D-backs in 2006 before spending the past two seasons with the Mets. He hit .273 with 16 doubles, 16 homers and 70 RBIs in 509 at-bats in 2007-08.

--INF Jamie D'Antona was granted his release to sign with the Yakult Swallows of Japan's Central League, who paid the D-backs about $200,000. D'Antona, 26, hit .176 in 17 at-bats in his first taste of the major leagues after having his contract purchased last July 22, but he did not appear to fit into Arizona's future plans. He was second in the Pacific Coast League with a .365 batting average last season for Class AAA Tucson, where he also had 35 doubles, 21 home runs and 79 RBIs. He participated in the Futures Game and won the Class AAA home run derby.

--Free agent 1B Tony Clark and 1B Josh Whitesell appear to be the top candidates for the spot as the top left-handed pinch hitter off the bench (Clark is a switch-hitter) and reserve first baseman, although it appears that no offer had been made to Clark by Thanksgiving. Whitesell is under team control. Conor Jackson and Chad Tracy are the top two first basemen, although Jackson looked comfortable playing left field the second half of 2008 and Tracy has been used at third base in the past before a knee injury curtailed his mobility in 2007.

--OF Eric Byrnes is among the many D-backs who are working out at the team's facility in Phoenix in the offseason. Byrnes is attempting to return from a debilitating hamstring injury that cost him the second half of the season. Doctors found a small spot where the muscle had been pulled away from the bone, but Byrnes opted for a stringent rehab program instead of surgery.

--Minor league OF Evan Frey, 22, was the most impressive of the D-backs' position players in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .288 with 11 RBIs to help the Phoenix Desert Dogs reach the title game. Frey had three triples, one short of the league high, and seven stolen bases, tied for sixth in the league.

BY THE NUMBERS: 900 -- Victories by the D-backs in their first 11 seasons, second most among new teams in the expansion era. Kansas City had the most, 920.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He held his own in the Fall League by keeping the same game plan at the plate. That showed maturity as a player." -- Diamondbacks director of player development A.J. Hinch, on OF Evan Frey's progress in the Arizona Fall League.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 29, 2008

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