We move on from one shortstop to another, this time that player being John McDonald.
Spending his past seven seasons with the Blue Jays, Johnny Mac as fans called him in Toronto, was acquired by the Diamondbacks in late August of last season as part of a deal that brought Aaron Hill to Arizona and sent Kelly Johnson to the Jays. At the time, the Snakes needed some depth behind Willie Bloomquist, who was tiring being the everyday guy at short due to a season-ending injury to starter Stephen Drew.
Despite being in Phoenix for only a little more than a month of the 2011 season, Arizona signed McDonald to a two-year, $3 million contract that will keep the long-time veteran in sedona red through the 2013 season.
In his 19 games and 63 plate appearances last season, McDonald didn’t provide much with the bat for the Diamondbacks. Mac hit well below the Mendoza line at .169 and only drove in a pair of runs. Then again, it is hard to base a guys numbers on less than 60 at-bats at the very end of the season.
McDonald would be the first to tell you that he is more known for his glove than what kind of numbers he puts up at the plate. If the 37-year-old were an everyday player at shortstop, he would be mentioned as a gold glove candidate year in and year out. That is how good he is defensively.
Despite his advanced age, McDonald still has very good range in the hole getting to balls that a lot of guys at short can’t get to. He also has a strong and accurate arm.
With Drew’s health status up in the air, McDonald could see plenty of playing time next season. If Drew is sidelined for a good chunk of time, Mac could spell Bloomquist at short and could also get starts at second and third in order to keep both Hill and Ryan Roberts fresh over the 162-game schedule.