Carlos Quentin's first night on the job as the Diamondbacks' new everyday right
fielder didn't go so well. Ditto for Stephen Drew, who unofficially began his
reign as the club's starting shortstop, a position he's had for a while now but
one that didn't carry the same weight until Craig Counsell returned from the
disabled list Tuesday.
Quentin committed a first-inning throwing error that led to one of two runs
against ace pitcher Brandon Webb, and Drew went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as
the Diamondbacks dropped a 7-6 decision to the Giants at AT&T Park.
Earlier, Quentin, 23, was handed the keys to right field when the Diamondbacks
completed a trade to send veteran Shawn Green, 33, to the Mets along with cash
for left-handed pitching prospect Evan MacLane, 23.
"Shawn's a great person, a great team guy and a great player," Quentin said.
"I'm obviously going to get a chance to play, and I just hope to take advantage
Quentin's batting average has dipped steadily the past several games, but
Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said the team is comfortable with Quentin
"Like a lot of our hitters, his average isn't as good in August as it was in
July, but he plays very good defense and we trust his play," Byrnes said of
Quentin. "We've got 37 games to try and get in (the playoffs), and we believe
Carlos is going to be a big part of this."
Quentin and Drew are two of three rookie starters in the lineup, the other being
first baseman Conor Jackson. Another rookie, outfielder Chris Young, was
recently recalled from Triple-A Tucson and will get some starts in center field
when Eric Byrnes moves from center to right to give Quentin occasional days off.
MacLane was 9-8 with a 3.86 ERA in 20 starts for Triple-A Norfolk. He has yet to
pitch in the majors and is not on the 40-man roster. Josh Byrnes likens MacLane
to lefty pitcher Matt Chico, whom the Diamondbacks dealt to Washington last
month as part of the Livan Hernandez deal.
"It's good to replace some pitching inventory," he said, adding the scouting
reports have been favorable on MacLane, who will report to Triple-A Tucson.
As for Green, the Diamondbacks will cover as much as $6.3 million of his
remaining salary from this year and next, when he is due $9.5 million. Green
said he has often thought about playing for New York in the past, and said he
didn't want to pass on the opportunity. If he had, he said, "I would have always
wondered what it would have been like."
REPLAY: Arizona rallied for three runs in the ninth inning Tuesday, but it
wasn't enough to come back against the Giants, who scored four run off reliever
Tony Pena in the eighth to take a 7-6 victory and win the first two games of
their three-game series at AT&T Park.
Diamondbacks catcher Johnny Estrada went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs,
but he grounded out to end the game with a runner in scoring position. Estrada
said the Diamondbacks, who have lost six of nine games on their 10-game trip,
are in a serious jam.
"Yeah, we're fading fast, man," he said. "The Dodgers are playing well. The
Giants look to be rolling. I don't know what the standings are now, but I know
we're not knocking at the door anymore."
Arizona has been scuffling in every area as of late, from withered offense to
spotty defense and a lack of quality relief pitching.
"That's the way it's been going, up and down, up and down," Estrada said, "and
we can't expect to make the playoffs playing this way down the stretch."
--RHP Brandon Webb raked fifth in the National League in fewest walks per nine
innings (1.8) going into Tuesday's start at San Francisco, but he walked three
batters and hit one in the first three innings alone. He's allowed 27 walks in
his past 11 starts after issuing just 13 over his first 15 starts to the season.
--The Diamondbacks could have used RF Shawn Green on Wednesday in their series
finale against Giants RHP Jason Schmidt, who is 11-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his past
15 starts against the Diamondbacks. Green, who was traded to the Mets on
Tuesday, is 18-for-42 (.429) with three homers in his career against Schmidt.
--SS Craig Counsell (right rib fracture) was activated off the disabled list
Tuesday and was available off the bench, but didn't play. Counsell, nursing a
slight hamstring pull, isn't quite 100 percent but could see some action
Wednesday in San Francisco or Friday at home against the Dodgers.
--RHP Brandon Medders has some soreness in his throwing shoulder, but manager
Bob Melvin said he doesn't think that's the reason the reliever has struggled in
four of his past five appearances. He stayed away from Medders on Tuesday and
might try to give him more rest Wednesday, as Arizona doesn't play Thursday.
--LF Luis Gonzalez, who isn't expected to have his $10 million option picked up
by the Diamondbacks for 2007, apparently is willing to renegotiate a deal to
stay in Arizona beyond this season. "At this point, we welcome an opportunity to
sit down with the Diamondbacks and explore the possibility of Luis remaining a
Diamondback before he goes through the free agent process," agent Gregg Clifton
--C Johnny Estrada, who went 4-for-5 in Tuesday's loss to the Giants, said he
will skip having an endoscopy during Thursday's day off so he could spend it
with his family. Estrada, who has been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, has
altered his diet and is taking medication for his condition. The endoscopy would
show if he truly has an ulcer or not, but Estrada said he may put off the
procedure until the season is over, saying, "If I have an ulcer, then all I can
do is keep taking the medication I'm on anyway."