BY: ED COLE
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – This season with the Arizona Diamondbacks will be Jean Segura’s fifth in the Majors.
In that time, Segura’s worked extremely hard to gain the respect of his fellow athletes, and it’s worked.
“It brings a lot,” Segura said of his experience. “Especially when you’re a veteran, there’s some people in the locker room that want to follow you. As baseball players, you’re grinding on the field, you’re grinding when you go outside and do your workouts, and (you have) to be smart and play the game because you don’t want to fail those guys.”
“You have to be careful a little bit with what you say in the media, and what you do in the field,” Segura said. “I have a little bit of time, and I’m considered to be a veteran guy, but that’s what I want to do, (is) I want to smile, I want to be happy, and I want to contribute to help this team win some games.”
Segura mentioned that he wants to be able to smile, and be happy playing baseball. So far, he’s been able to do that with his new team.
“I’m acclimating pretty good,” Segura said. “I’m happy to be here, and glad to be here.”
“I like every teammate,” Segura said. “We got a lot of talent, and we (have) some players that (have) been in the league for a little while, and know how to handle every situation in the game. We’re pretty good in everything: Pitching, offense, speed, defensively; I think we’re pretty good.”
When the team signed pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller prior to them making the deal to bring Segura in from the Milwaukee Brewers, it sent up a signal to Segura that they were serious about winning a world championship right now, not later.
Segura was impressed with those moves the team made, and he decided that he wanted to be a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, because he saw them trending in the right direction.
It’s all good that the team brought in Greinke and Miller, and pitcher Tyler Clippard as well, but Segura says all of those new pieces have to mesh well with the existing group, him included, if the team is to be playing into October.
“To win the regular season, to go to the playoffs, and win the World Series, it’s going to take a lot,” Segura said. “It’s going to take every guy here in the locker room. It’s going to take (Paul) Goldy (Goldschmidt), it’s going to take Jake Lamb, it’s going to take (David) Peralta, maybe one guy off the bench, making some diving plays to win.”
“I think this is a group of guys that are out to prove that there’s a lot of talent here,” Segura said.
Segura’s best season in the Majors was three years ago, when he was with the Brewers. In the 92 games Segura played in prior to the All-Star break, Segura was hitting .325 with 11 doubles, 8 triples, 11 home runs and 36 RBI, and for all that output, he was named to the 2013 NL All-Star team.
Each and every person associated with the team, Segura included, would love to see him put up those kinds of numbers this season, and go to his second All-Star Game, but he’s pumping his brakes just a little bit when it comes to that kind of talk.
“As a player, you’re just trying to get better and better,” Segura said. “Hopefully you want to get every good result, but as the league starts to know you, sometimes it’s going to be a little difficult. I’ve been through a lot of family stuff (his son passing away in 2014), and I think I put it away. I’m confident that I’m going to get back, and as a player, that’s how you want to think.”