The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Eric Hinske to a a one year, $1.35 million deal earlier this off-season with the intention of using him as a late-inning pinch hitter, and the 35-year-old is happy in that role, according to arizonasports.com. Hinske is hoping to be used in a similar way as he has in the past, when managers would give him occasional starts. He believes that those extra at-bats helped him when it was time to come in for key situations in late innings:
"You're definitely going to be a little more fresh if your manager understands the importance of giving his bench guys a start here and there," Hinske said. "It keeps his starters fresh on the field. I think myself and Eric Chavez will do a good job of just going in there whenever they ask us too and playing whenever our name's in that lineup card."
The 2002 American League Rookie of the Year made 147 plate appearances for the Atlanta Braves in 2012. In those opportunities, he hit .197/.272/.311 with two home runs. Prior to this past season, he had posted an OPS lower than .700 just once, so the Diamondbacks are hoping he can return to that form and provide some power off the bench along with some veteran leadership in the clubhouse.