The Inside Pitch

The Insiders gives you notes from the big league club including bullpen and backstop injuries, who's on the block, and the fuzzy future of Luis Terrero.

   There doesn't appear to be any relief in sight for the Diamondbacks,
who continue to find new ways to lose and fell to 2-12 under new manager
Al Pedrique following a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday
(July 18).

   That defeat marked the seventh consecutive loss by Arizona, which was
reeling at 31-61 overall.

   "I'm getting tired of losing," said Pedrique, who replaced Bob Brenly
as manager on July 2. "I know it's part of the job. I'm learning from
that. But you've got to move on."

   The Diamondbacks have only further collapsed under Pedrique, making
it seem more obvious management may look elsewhere for a manager for
next season. Pedrique, though, is certainly dealing from a short deck;
several regulars are out of the lineup and on the disabled list and a
handful more, including ace pitcher Randy Johnson and starting center
fielder Steve Finley, are rumored to be on the trading block.

   As the season grounds to a close for Arizona, there is more
disturbing news: Left fielder Luis Gonzalez reiterated he plans to
undergo "Tommy John" surgery on his ailing right elbow before the season
is over.

   "I still have to talk with Al and (GM) Joe (Garagiola Jr.). Probably
later this week we'll address that issue," Gonzalez said. "Right now,
the main concern is the trade rumors, all that stuff. My situation is
that I want to pick the right time when I want to do it."

   Gonzalez maintains he is pointing to an August surgery date, but if
the club decides to dismantle the franchise further by trading away the
likes of Johnson, Finley and others, Gonzalez might move up his
timetable and agree to undergo the operation sooner rather than later.

   As it stands now, nothing can go right for the Diamondbacks, who also
appear to be on the verge of naming yet another closer after injuries
and inconsistencies have shut down the likes of Matt Mantei, Jose
Valverde, Scott Service, Mike Koplove and Brian Bruney.

   "Whoever is doing the job, whoever is hot," Pedrique said. "Depending
on the matchup and the situation of the game. We'll call the bullpen
ahead of time and give them enough time to get ready when they need to.
We need to find a way and find a formula that will let us get the job
done late in the game. We told them that somebody needs to step up as
the closer."



   --RF Danny Bautista returned to the starting lineup Sunday (July 18)
after missing seven of the club's previous eight games with a lower back
strain. "I probably could have played earlier," Bautista said.

   --RHP Matt Mantei, who has undergone countless injuries and
inconsistencies this season, is still battling soreness after doctors
removed a bone spur that was cutting into his rotator cuff more than a
month ago. The Diamondbacks won't say it, but Mantei is likely done for
the season, and don't be surprised if he decides to walk away from the
game altogether in the not so distant future.

   --"It seems like every time we get him on the hook, he finds a way to
get out of it. And his offense seems to always get runs off us when he's
pitching against us." -- LF Luis Gonzalez on the Dodgers' Kaz Ishii, who
improved to 4-0 against Arizona this season and 7-1 against them in his
career after pitching LA to a 6-2 victory on July 16.

   BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Victories this season on Saturdays for the

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know if I can say that." -- LHP Randy
Johnson, the subject of almost daily trade rumors, when recently asked
by reporters if he could say the words, "I don't want to leave Arizona."



   C Brent Mayne was activated off the 15-day DL after suffering from
lower back strain and RF Danny Bautista, also bothered by a bad back,
has returned to the lineup as well. The club also added veteran reliever
Mike Fetters and placed C Robby Hammock (sore left knee) on the 15-day DL.

   PITCHING TRENDS: The bullpen continues to let down the club, and it
doesn't seem to matter who is pitching at the time. The problem has
affected the Diamondbacks since the first week of the season, and a
managerial and pitching coach change doesn't seem to have helped. It's
sink or sink-further time, apparently, for the D-Backs.


   --LHP Randy Johnson, who recently said "it's not that easy to pack up
and go somewhere else," was scheduled to pitch Monday (July 19) against
the Giants, but with all the trade speculation surrounding him on a
daily basis, was that to be his last pitching performance ever for the

   --RHP Mike Koplove has blown one too many chances in his short stint
as the Diamondbacks' interim closer for new manager Al Pedrique, who
said after a recent Koplove meltdown against the Dodgers he might be
leaning toward another late-inning reliever.

   --LHP Randy Choate, the club's left-handed specialist, lost a ton of
momentum by serving up a game-winning grand slam to the Dodgers' Shawn
Green, which spoiled seven innings of shutout ball by Randy Johnson.

   LINEUP LOWDOWN: CF Steve Finley and fellow veteran LF Luis Gonzalez
each were given a day off on the same day, a rarity during their tenure
together in Arizona. The additions of OF Quinton McCracken and Luis
Terrero appear to make a potential trade of Finley and perhaps OF Danny
Bautista more of a likelihood.


   --LF Luis Gonzalez hasn't set a date yet, but it's likely he won't
finish the season and will elect to have "Tommy John" surgery on his
right throwing elbow at some point between now and the end of September.

   --RF Danny Bautista is recovered from a nagging lower back strain,
but that only means he could return to becoming a hot commodity on the
trade market. A handful of contenders are rumored to be heavily interested.

   --C Brent Mayne, who recently activated off the disabled list was
back problems, figures to be the club's main starter behind the plate
for the foreseeable future although the right-handed-hitting Juan Brito
will get his fair share of action.

   MEDICAL WATCH: C Brent Mayne (back strain) was activated off the
disabled list, and C Robby Hammock was placed on the 15-day disabled
list with a bothersome left knee. INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist) was moved to
the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for the
addition of reliever Mike Fetters. RHP Scott Service (back strain) is
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