New faces debut Sunday in double play combo

SHARE New faces debut Sunday in double play combo

Class AAA infielder Logan Watkins arrived Sunday to take the place of Luis Valbuena, who went on the disabled list with a strained right oblique. Watkins, 23, was the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2012 after hitting .281 with 93 runs scored, 20 doubles, 11 triples nine home runs and 52 RBI at Class AA Tennessee.

He was hitting .243 with 18 doubles, seven triples, eight homers and 26 RBI at Iowa, playing mostly second base.

Watkins started Sunday beside Iowa teammate Donnie Murphy at shortstop. Murphy was recalled Saturday after Julio Borbon was designated for assignment.

Manager Dale Sveum had planned early in the week to rest both Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro on Sunday to give them two days off, with Monday’s off day.

“We figured it was a good day to get them in together and they’ve been playing together all year long,’’ Sveum said of the newcomers.

“Fortunately I was in big league spring training so I know some of the guys,’’ Watkins said.

He also was familiar with the first major league pitcher he faced, the Dodgers’ Stephen Fife, who was activated from the disabled list Sunday.

“I actually faced him in my first Triple A game,’’ Watkins said.

Fife replaced scheduled starter Zach Greinke, who was moved back to Monday to face the St. Louis Cardinals.

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