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Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed: your starting middle infield

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Before tonight's exhibition game at Chase, there was a flurry of D-backs news from the press conference by Chip Hale and Tony La Russa. The big news was the decision that Aaron Hill is now on the bench.

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

After the trade of Didi Gregorius to the Yankees, it had generally been thought that this freed up the job of everyday shortstop for Chris Owings. It was assumed Aaron Hill, under team control through the end of 2016, would continue to play second, simply on the basis he would be getting paid $12 million. However, this spring, it was noticeable Chris Owings had been getting more reps at second-base than at shortstop. This afternoon, the decision was confirmed, and along with other recent news, it does appear the team are indeed committed to putting the best players they can out there, and not letting salary affect that choice.

Other items this afternoon:

As with the second-base decision, this preference for Peralta over the much more highly-paid Cody Ross shows the team's willingness to suck up paying cash for players who aren't good enough for every day. Ross will still get his share of at-bats, against left-handed starters and off the bench, but in a heavily right-handed line-up, Peralta does offer more.

Way to make us feel good about the trade, Tony, though it appears the deal was made to make room for Bradley. Though the thought strikes me, wouldn't it be amusing, given this ringing endorsement, if Cahill ends up out-pitching, oh, Jeremy Hellickson? La Russa added, if Bradley hadn't pitched so well Cahill would still be here. But I was informed Bradley was "not ready" for the majors? Shurely shome mishtake...

This is my unsurprised face.

That would certainly make sense, because there is a roster crunch coming. Assuming the standard five-man bench, we seem overstocked, given a backup catcher, Ross, Ender Inciarte, Cliff Pennington, Jordan Pacheco and Aaron Hill. Be nice to have a left-handed thumper who can play first occasionally too, like Danny Dorn. Stay tuned for developments here, folks.

It's means a much-younger look for the team. Among everyday starters, Tuffy Gosewisch is suddenly the grizzled old man, the only one in his thirties at the positively geriatric age of 31. Mark Trumbo is 29, Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta are all 27, while the rest of the infield as we move around from Goldie, will be 23 (Owings), 25 (Ahmed) and 24 (whether it's Jake Lamb or Yasmany Tomas).  Say what you like, but there's no doubt the new management is going with youth. The future is now, folks.