09/15/12 11:57 PM ET
D-backs don purple on alumni night
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
Three D-backs affiliates win league titles
PHOENIX -- While the D-backs trailed by 4 1/2 games in the National League Wild Card standings after Saturday's loss to the Giants, three of the club's Minor League teams had capped off championship seasons.On Friday, rookie-level Missoula defeated Ogden, 10-0, to win the Pioneer League and Double-A Mobile edged Jackson, 1-0, to capture its second straight Southern League championship. And on Saturday, the Triple-A Reno Aces took the Pacific Coast League crown with an 8-2 win over Omaha. "It's great, huh?" D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's a tribute to the organization and the guys. There is more continuity throughout the organization. I get to work with a lot of those guys in Spring Training, you share concepts and philosophies, so it carries over." According to Gibson, all of the championships not only help the farm system but they also prepare the players for the Major League level. "Winning is important when you're trying to develop people," Gibson said. "It develops a mentality and what it takes to do so. When you get to that point, you either do it or you don't. It's a different level of commitment. You can't give in to deterring factors." D-backs rookie outfielder Adam Eaton, whom the Pacific League honored as its MVP earlier this month, is ecstatic to be in Arizona but also relishes his time he had with Reno for the majority of this season. "If they do win, I'll celebrate, definitely. I'll get a ring, too," Eaton said. "Those are the guys down there that you fought all year with. I wouldn't trade it for being up here in the big leagues, but definitely I'll send my congratulations to them." Although he hopes his Minor League career is over, Eaton recognized how fortunate he was to come up in a farm system built around winning. "It's awesome. Hats off to the Diamondbacks," Eaton said. "Our farm system seems extremely healthy and prosperous. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a great feeling."
Bloomquist's injury continues to linger
PHOENIX -- When he injured his back at the end of July, D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist figured he would only be sidelined a short time for rest and rehab.Now more than a month later, the 34-year-old has only taken 10 at-bats in the months of August and September and is still battling on a daily basis to get healthy. With 18 games remaining in the regular season and the uncertainty of the injury, the club is contemplating if Bloomquist will return at all in 2012. "We're just going to progress and keep doing his core exercises and his back stabilization [drills]," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "There's really no timetable, but we're not going to shut him down at this point. He's still doing activities. If he gets to the point where he has a couple good days in a row and wants to progress to more intense baseball stuff, we'll do that. But he may not." Bloomquist had a pinch-hit at-bat Sept. 3 against the Giants, but hasn't appeared since. The loss of the veteran has been hard on the D-backs. Bloomquist is batting .302, a career-best for the 10-year pro. "It has hurt us; he's the spark plug to our team," Gibson said. "There's no question it's been a big blow, but it's been part of it." While back problems have derailed Bloomquist in the second half, the D-backs don't think it will be a problem moving forward into next season. "We don't think there is," Gibson said. "He is just older and he pushes hard." While the club is unsure whether the shortstop will return this season, the D-backs appear close to getting outfielder Chris Young back from a right quad strain. "C.Y. ran really good. I thought about playing him tonight, but I talked to the trainers," Gibson said. "He was on the bases with the spikes on and he got a little fatigued, which he's not used to. The smart thing to do is wait and see. The earliest he'll be back is after the off-day on Tuesday."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.