DeShields has played well when he sees the field, as he did for the second consecutive game Monday night against the Tigers. As the designated hitter he walked and scored a run in the first and drove in Elvis Andrus on a safety squeeze bunt in the second.
Banister acknowledge it has been tough not getting him more playing time.
“Dee is an exciting, contributing player. Seems like in his role this year he is capitalizing to the extent that he can contribute,” he said. “Seems like every time he’s been in there he’s been right in the mix of the offense.”
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His defense has improved too. DeShields made a diving catching in the left-field corner and got up quickly to double up a runner on base Sunday against the Astros.
“His arm has gotten better. He’s made some throws he wouldn’t have been able to make in 2015 or ’16. Diving catches, making good breaks on the ball, good routes, he’s done a good job of improving himself.”
DeShields has been used mostly against left-handed pitchers and has been squeezed out of the lineup with Nomar Mazara playing left, Carlos Gomez in center and Shin-Soo Choo in right.