INSIDE PITCH Luis Gonzalez hasn't been able to dial long distance -- and he was
still awaiting a long-distance call from ownership, hoping for a personal
explanation as to why his name was carelessly linked to suspicions of past
Last week, Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick told The
Arizona Republic there were "whispers" about Gonzalez perhaps having used
performance-enhancing drugs when Gonzalez hit 57 homers during Arizona's 2001
World Series championship season. Kendrick addressed the team as a whole back in
Phoenix on Thursday, trying to express his regrets over his comments, but that
apparently didn't sit well enough with Gonzalez, who has been the face of the
franchise for several seasons. Last season, he was named the recipient of the
Branch Rickey Award for his charitable work in the community.
During the past few days, as the Diamondbacks were completing a three-game
series at the Rangers, manager Bob Melvin had done his best to try to console
and comfort his star left fielder, who is in the final year of his contract.
"It's my job to support my players," Melvin said. "I've been very close to him,
and I have been for a while. This has been a difficult time for him. It's been a
difficult time for the team. He's a guy who feels like he's been there for his
club." Gonzalez, who got the game-winning hit for the Diamondbacks in Game 7 of
the 2001 World Series against the Yankees, has had some difficultly settling in
since the whole ordeal began, starting with revelations that former teammate
Jason Grimsley had acknowledged using illegal substances, including human growth
"We're trying to keep him focused," Melvin said of Gonzalez. "Sometimes in
this game, certain things can distract you. He's been one of the best to be able
to go out there and concentrate on baseball. A lot of times, that is your
release, going out there and playing the game you love to play."
Meanwhile, Gonzalez's career-high homerless streak reached 53 games on
Sunday, as he hasn't connected since an April 20 game against San Francisco.
"What's the saying? You watch a pot, it never boils?" Melvin said. "He can't
escape it right now because it's been written about quite a bit. Sometimes, you
press a bit, but my feeling is it will come, and when it does, it'll come in
REPLAY: The Diamondbacks' losing streak reached five games on Sunday, as the
Rangers outlasted them 10-7 and Arizona lost for the 12th time in its past 13
games. The Diamondbacks have now been swept in three of their past four series,
salvaging only one win during a recent three-game set with San Francisco, after
having won seven of 10 prior to that. Right-hander Enrique Gonzalez gave up five
earned runs in the first inning, one more than his previous four outings
combined, as his ERA shot from 1.64 to 3.67. Reliever Luis Vizcaino (2-3) was
charged with the loss after giving up an RBI single to Michael Young and a
two-run double to Mark Teixeira.
"This is wearing on us," said catcher Johnny Estrada, noting the Diamondbacks
have been outscored 25-4 in the first inning during the past 12 games.
NOTES, QUOTES --RHP Juan Cruz, on the disabled list with a sore shoulder,
played catch on Sunday and is tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen session
on Tuesday before going on a minor league rehab assignment. After Cruz developed
some tightness in the shoulder last week following a side session, he was
expected to only make one rehab outing, but that now could change to a minimum
--Manager Bob Melvin faces surgery on his left wrist to repair a sheath
surrounding a tendon in his forearm that ripped during a charity golf tournament
in the spring. Melvin would likely have the operation during the All-Star break
and wouldn't miss any time away from the club. It would keep him, however, from
being added to Houston manager Phil Garner's support staff for the National
League squad at next month's All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. Melvin was seen as a
likely candidate to be picked by Garner, a longtime friend.
--RHP Jorge Julio has held right-handers to a .133 average (2-for-15) and
lefties to a .056 average (1-for-18) since his acquisition from the Mets for RHP
Orlando Hernandez. Julio said that despite Arizona's recent slide, he is
confident the team will challenge for the National League West title and is
looking forward to re-signing with the Diamondbacks in the offseason. "I want to
be with this team because I like this team," said Julio, who is
arbitration-eligible and won't become a free agent until after the 2007 season.
"I see a lot of good things with his organization."
--LHP Terry Mulholland is eligible to be activated off the 15-day disabled
list on Monday, but the Diamondbacks don't appear to be in any hurry to have him
rejoin the club. Mulholland, who was sidelined with an inner ear infection,
remained in Phoenix and was throwing on the side. The team did not give any
further details as to his availability.
--RHP Kevin Jarvis (0-1 with an 11.91 ERA) remains the tentative starter for
Thursday's game at Tampa Bay, although that could change as the club was
contemplating a potential series of roster moves. Jarvis was tagged for eight
earned runs on Saturday against the Rangers in his first start in the majors
since September 12, 2003.
BY THE NUMBERS: 57 -- Home runs hit by Luis Gonzalez in 2001, 26 more than
any other season in his career.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know about troubling. (Kendrick) is trying to protect
the game of baseball in his own way. It's unfortunate that I have to sit here to
defend myself for no reason. Every time I put the Diamondback uniform, I try to
represent them the best I can. I have a commitment to the community to go out
there and play hard and do the best I can out there. I know Ken is trying to do
the right things. It's unfortunate that this had to come out like this." -- Luis
Gonzalez, responding to rumors about players that may have used performance
enhancers, which were brought up by Diamondbacks general managing partner E.G.
"Ken" Kendrick in the Arizona Republic.
ROSTER REPORT MEDICAL WATCH: LHP Terry Mulholland, who had been on the
disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, was activated June 3. He
returned to the disabled list June 6 with an inner ear infection. RHP Juan Cruz
was placed on the disabled list with a sore shoulder June 7. He felt some
stiffness June 13, and he is scheduled for a bullpen session June 20. He could
begin a rehab assignment this week.