Chad Tracy is back. Mark Reynolds is staying. And the Diamondbacks
still have two first basemen in Conor Jackson and Tony Clark.
That's four players for two infield spots, as Tracy and Reynolds
figure to split some time at third base upon Tracy's return from a rib
cage strain. The incumbent, Tracy, took over for Reynolds on Sunday in a
series finale against visiting Boston and, although he went 0-for-4 with
three strikeouts, he still is considered one of the best pure hitters
in the organization.
But Reynolds, despite a recent slump, has shown more than enough to
keep him on the active roster and how manager Bob Melvin plans to keep
both of them involved could be fairly interesting.
Tracy took a turn at first for Jackson late in his first game back
for Arizona, and that's a spot Reynolds has played as well in the
minors. Melvin has stressed that neither Tracy or Reynolds would likely
unseat Jackson -- or Clark -- at first base.
But you have to wonder: With four quality corner infielders,
somebody might have to go. It could very well be Clark, who would be a welcome
addition to several teams as a power-hitting pinch hitter, a role he
has defined in his recent years with strong results.
The Diamondbacks granted Clark a no-trade clause in his last
contract extension, however, which could complicate matters.
Especially because Clark has been a longtime Phoenix-area resident and
would seem to prefer to live in the immediate area, where he is building a
new home and has several charity endeavors.
Nothing has been mentioned publicly about a possible trade scenario
for any of the above corner infielders, but it doesn't make Melvin's
job any easier, for certain.
"You want to keep everybody involved, yet you still have to run your
best lineup out there," Melvin said. "Someone gets their feelings hurt
because they're not playing much, that could be the bad part of it."
DIAMONDBACKS 5, RED SOX 1: Arizona avoided a three-game sweep by the
visiting Red Sox, making their first regular-season visit to Chase
Field, and another loud crowd of 46,622 was on hand for a super-hyped
pitching matchup between veteran lefty Randy Johnson and Japanese star
Both pitchers shared similar lines; each allowed four hits and
struck out nine batters over six innings. Johnson, however, who improved to
4-2, allowed one fewer run and got a little more offense as the
Diamondbacks kept pace with San Diego at the top of the NL West standings.
"I don't know if that was his best game, but I had to throw my best
game, or at least match zeros with him," Johnson, who won his fourth
straight and improved to 16-7 against Boston, said of Matsuzaka.
INSIDE EDGE: As long as the Diamondbacks remain at or near the top
of the National League West Division, there are going to be pointed
questions directed to management about the future of impending free agent
OF Eric Byrnes, and it won't go over well. Byrnes has emerged into an
easy fan favorite, the perfect replacement for the longtime face of the
franchise, Luis Gonzalez, but there doesn't seem to be any rush for
management to pitch a contract extension for the popular Byrnes, who's
never had such a deal. He may never get it here, and if he doesn't, there
will be an outrage, to be sure, from season-ticket holders and on the
local sports-talk radio circuit.
--LHP Randy Johnson, who improved to 4-2 on Sunday in his eighth
start for Arizona, will not accompany the club to New York on Monday to
rest his back. Johnson, 43, underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk
in late October and will meet the club instead in Baltimore.
--UT Robby Hammock was optioned to Class AAA Tucson on Sunday to
make room on the roster for 3B Chad Tracy, who was activated from the
disabled list because of a rib-cage strain. Tracy went 0 for 4 and is
hitting .299 on the year.
--RHP Jailen Peguero made his major league debut for Arizona on
Friday, pitching a perfect inning in a relief role against the Red Sox,
after being recalled for righty Brandon Medders, who was optioned to
"He's a guy we really need to get right," Manager Bob Melvin said of Medders,
who struggled with giving up the longball in particular.
--UT Albert Callaspo was caught on the hidden ball trick against
Boston when Julio Lugo slipped behind him at second base, and then as
Callaspo lifted his hand off the base and arose, was tagged out in an
embarrassing moment. "I was thinking the pitcher had the ball," Callaspo
said. The last time Arizona was nailed on the hidden ball trick, another
Boston player, third baseman Mike Lowell, then with Florida, caught Luis Terrero off third base in 2005.
--Manager Bob Melvin on his team's three-game series against New
York at Yankee Stadium: "We may talk a little, but I don't think it's
something we really need to delve into. They'll feel it when they're out
there. You don't want to freak them out before they go out as well. It's
a great place to play. There's a lot of energy, and it's fun. If I'm
going to stress anything, that's what I would stress."
BY THE NUMBERS: 31 -- OF Eric Byrnes' streak of reaching base in
consecutive games via a hit or a walk, which he did from May 5 to June 9,
tying Matt Williams' streak from 1999-2000, for fourth place in club
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He can be the type of guy players might be reluctant
to approach because they think he's abrasive, aggressive, whatever. But
you'll never meet anyone who's more accountable than Randy. If he even
just passes that along, that would be something." -- Diamondbacks
pitching coach Bryan Price on Randy Johnson, who is reaching out to younger
pitchers, both in the system and in other organizations, in an effort
to pass along some of his wisdom and knowledge.
3B Chad Tracy (rib cage strain) went on the disabled list on May 16.
He was activated June 10 and was in the starting lineup against Boston.
LHP Randy Johnson (stiff back) left his May 30 start after 61
pitches. He missed his May 25 start with forearm tendinitis. He started June
5 and again June 10.
OF Jeff DaVanon (left ankle, right shoulder surgery) opened the
season on the disabled list. He was still bothered by a sore right shoulder
in early June, and there was no timetable for his return.