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Arizona Diamondbacks

‘Tireless' Willie Bloomquist gets season finale start for Diamondbacks

"Bitter Bill" teammates call him.

Soon to be 36, Arizona Diamondbacks utility man Willie Bloomquist has an unceasing displeasure with his performance, a non-stop striving.

Bitter is then one word you could use to describe him.

"Tireless" was the choice descriptor of Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, who opted to start Bloomquist over his three other younger shortstops in the final game of the season.

"I've given the other guys quite a few opportunities to play," he explained of the decision prior to the game, which will decide whether the Diamondbacks have a losing or .500 season.

With Didi Gregorius, Cliff Pennington and, now, Chris Owings on the big league roster, Bloomquist's playing time has suffered throughout the season and he has seen more time in left field than anywhere else as of late.

"Nobody really knows who will be here next year and who won't be," Gibson added to his explanation.

For the aging Bloomquist, who is notorious for his intense, leave-it-all-on-the-field style of play, health has been the nagging question over the last two years. Since the beginning of the 2012 season, the 12-year veteran has taken three trips to the disabled list, twice with back issues. Dating back to 2011, he has been placed on the disabled list four times.

Despite his sporadic play, playing in only 47 games for the Diamondbacks this season prior to Sunday's season finale, Bloomquist has nonetheless accrued a .319 batting average this season to go along with a .363 on-base percentage. With runners in scoring position, he has been particularly valuable, managing an .884 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and a .400 batting average.

"Unfortunately this year, Willie has been on the disabled list more than he planned on," Gibson said. "But he's been a tireless worker for us and I know shortstop is his favorite spot, so I put him there."

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