Off Day as Melvin Uses Bench

Off Day as Melvin Uses Bench

Skipper Bob Melvin believes in his bench, communication, and winning. As the D'Backs finish up their first series of the year in Colorado, he is showing that all three can work together.

INSIDE PITCH
   Manager Bob Melvin has a set starting lineup, but he plans to get his
bench players some early starting assignments to keep them as fresh as
possible.
   On Wednesday at Coors Field, he inserted Tony Clark and Jeff DaVanon into
the lineup in place of Conor Jackson at first base and Eric Byrnes in center
field, respectively. On Thursday, in the series finale, he plans to rest
catcher Johnny Estrada and shortstop Craig Counsell in favor of Chris Snyder
and Damion Easley.
   "I've always been a proponent of that," Melvin said. "I've said many
times your bench players are never more ready to play than they are coming
out of spring training.
   "They're playing every day, they have a few more at-bats than the
regulars do, and to just let them sit around and not use that without
getting everyone involved and a team atmosphere going right away, I don't
believe that's the right thing to do."
   Byrnes said he had no problems whatsoever with sitting out Wednesday's
game and added that Melvin has almost gone out of his way to make sure all
the players know well in advance if there's going to be a potential lineup
change.
   "It's great. It keeps everybody in it," Byrnes said. "If we're going to
win this thing -- we don't have a ton of superstars other than Gonzo (Luis
Gonzalez) and Greenie (Shawn Green) -- everybody's got to contribute.
   As for Melvin's policy of telegraphing playing time to position players,
Byrnes said: "Communication is something I don't think should be expected
from a player. It's a bonus. Bob's been very upfront from the get-go with me
as far as what my role's going to be. He's been like that with all the
guys."
   REPLAY: Orlando Hernandez pitched five solid innings, allowing six hits
and one earned run with eight strikeouts to get the victory in his debut
with the Diamondbacks, 4-2 winners over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
   "El Duque" confounded the Rockies with his assortment of off-speed
pitches and arm angles -- "I'm looking for one more," he joked later -- and
got most of his strikeouts by coming back hard with his fastball.
   "He knows what he's doing," Colorado's Matt Holliday said, "and he's been
doing it for a long time."

NOTES, QUOTES
   --LF Luis Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. The
doubles were his first in two seasons at Coors Field, spanning 15 games. His
last double in Denver had come on Sept. 24, 2003.
   --LHP Terry Mulholland joins Todd Zeile for having played with the
second-most teams in history, each with 11. Mike Morgan, who finished his
career with the Diamondbacks, played for the most clubs -- an even dozen.
   --SS Craig Counsell, who missed most of spring training rehabbing a torn
labrum in his right shoulder, will get a day off on Thursday. Damion Easley
will start at short in the series finale at Coors Field.
   --RHP Luis Vizcaino opted not to go to U.S. Cellular Field to pick up his
White Sox World Series ring on Tuesday. After pitching two innings Monday in
Colorado, he decided he needed to get some extra rest and asked teammate
Orlando Hernandez, who did attend, to bring his ring back with him.
   --Monday's game at Coors Field marked the first Opening Day game
involving the Diamondbacks in which a home run was not hit by either club.
Arizona had hit 13 in its previous eight season openers, the opposition 11.

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