Updated Aug 14, 2013 - 12:29 pm
Diamondbacks' Adam Eaton: Hustle was not the issue, forgetting how many outs there were was
In fact, at one point in spring training his manager, Kirk Gibson, said perhaps his player needs to learn to slow things down, if only a bit, at certain times.
However, Tuesday night, in the bottom of the 10th inning with the game tied and A.J. Polloack on first and one out, Eaton was caught not running full speed out of the batter's box on a ground ball. He was called out on a close play at first, with the double play ending the inning.
D-backs GM Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Wednesday that Eaton would not start against the Orioles, and that is indeed the case. As Towers said, "Stuff like that is kind of uncalled for, kind of an unwritten rule in Major League Baseball you hustle every time regardless of where the ball is hit," and manager Kirk Gibson agreed.
"If I had another player I would have removed him from the game (Tuesday night)," the skipper said. "One of my coaches talked to him, I'm going to talk to him.
"He's just a very emotional player, he's young. It's not something he'll do again, I promise you that."
Gibson, though, added that he believes Eaton is a "great" kid who cares a lot, but sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him.
So, he said the plan is not so much to "bury the kid" as much as it is to make note that this cannot happen again, and leaving him out of Wednesday's lineup is a way of showing that.
But according to Eaton, who hit a game-winning walk-off home run Monday night, this was not a case of him not putting forth maximum effort. No, it was something more simple -- and frustrating -- than that.
He lost track of how many outs there were in the inning.
"As soon as I hit the ball, for some reason I thought there were two outs," he said, noting that he was running hard right out of the box but slowed down when he saw the throw go to second base. "Then I saw and it was an, ‘Oh crap' moment, and I tried to turn it back on."
The 24-year-old said teammate Willie Bloomquist had talked to him about making sure he's always hustling down the line, but nobody had really talked to him to find out what exactly happened on the play.
Eaton said he's not beating himself up over the situation, as it was a mental lapse that he does not expect to happen again, but added the ordeal could be looked at as a chance to grow as a big league ballplayer.
"It was a heightened play in the game where an extra base hit needs to be hit, you need to get on base somehow, and my mind is constantly running at that point," he said. "I knew there was one out, but the emotions of the game, the rush of the game got to me.
"It kind of slipped, went to the back of my mind and I didn't realize it at the time. I guess it is a learning experience. It won't happen again. Even with two outs now you know I'm definitely going to be getting down the bag, definitely."
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Anderson, Diamondbacks destroyed by Nationals for fourth loss in a row: By The Numbers
- Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson would be 'honored' to return next season
- Report: Arizona Diamondbacks plan to retain Kirk Gibson
- LaRoche's homer lifts Nationals to third straight walk-off in defeat of D-backs
- Nationals get third straight walk-off win, beat D-backs in extras: By The Numbers
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Friday August 15Tim Kurkjian discusses what new commissioner Rob Manfred means for Major League Baseball.
- What's on your mind? - Friday August 15Vince Marotta shares what he is thinking about this week.
- Bob Nightengale- USA Today Sports MLB columnist - Friday August 15Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports thinks Kirk Gibson could keep his job next season.
- Bickley Blast - Friday August 15There is a new commissioner in the MLB, and Dan Bickley previews the transition that is coming.
- Bickley Blast - Wednesday August 13Dan worries that there may be a confrontation between Miguel Montero and Trevor Bauer coming.