Juan Miranda, not Russell Branyan, to “get most of the starts” at first base in Arizona
One of Kevin Towers’ first moves as Diamondbacks general manager was to trade for Juan Miranda, who’d been stuck behind Mark Teixeira in the Yankees’ farm system despite consistently solid production at Triple-A.
I liked the pickup at the time, seeing Miranda as a potentially useful platoon first baseman capable of putting up some nice numbers against right-handed pitching while earning the MLB minimum.
However, once the Diamondbacks brought in Russell Branyan as a free agent it became less clear that Miranda should get an extended shot at first base, because Branyan has a lengthy track record of being a very nice platoon option against righties himself.
Kirk Gibson initially avoided talking about how the playing time would work out, but admitted today that Miranda “will probably get most of the starts, the majority of them right now” because “I want to give him a chance to see how he can play.”
It makes lots of sense to platoon one of Miranda or Branyan with the right-handed-hitting Xavier Nady, so it’ll be interesting to see if the 28-year-old Miranda can hold off the 35-year-old Branyan all season. So far one has seven plate appearances and the other has six.