4 for 3 turns into 2 for 1

Throughout the offseason and Spring Training, D-backs manager Bob Melvin talked about how having four outfielders — Conor Jackson, Chris Young, Justin Upton and Eric Byrnes — for three spots would be a good thing.

It would build competition. It would allow him to give guys days off. They could match up with opposing starting pitchers.

Instead, trying to find the right combination has proved to be a bigger-than-expected challenge for Melvin.

“It seems like it’s been a little bit hard on all of them,” Melvin said.

Indeed, none of the four seem to have found their stride offensively, particularly Conor Jackson, who has started just 16 of the team’s first 20 games.

“We really didn’t envision here at the beginning of the season,” Melvin said of Jackson’s off days. “We felt like he was a guy that based on what he did last year deserved to be out there every day. He’s just gotten off to a little bit of a slow start and I expect him to pick it up and I expect him to play the majority of the games because he really did earn that last year.”

With Melvin saying that Upton needs to play every day and Young as well, it seems as though it has now come down to two players — Jackson and Byrnes — for one spot.

“I wish it hadn’t, but it seems like it is a little bit,” Melvin said. “It’s just a problem that we have. You’d really like to see somebody get hot and take the spot because I really would like to run a mostly everyday lineup out there.”

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