Conor Jackson in Left Field?
Conor Jackson (AP/John Miller)

Posted Jul 17, 2007


Rather than use Chad Tracy or Mark Reynolds in the outfield, where they each have extensive experience, Bob Melvin decided to put Conor Jackson in left field for just the second time in his major league career. Jeff DaVanon was also activated from the 60-day DL, giving the team another veteran option in the outfield for late inning defensive substitutions when Jackson plays.

INSIDE PITCH

Manager Bob Melvin may have figured out a way to ease up the congestion for all his corner infielders, but how long it lasts remains to be seen.

For Monday's game at Milwaukee, however, he started first baseman Conor Jackson in left field. That move allowed Melvin to go with rookie Mark Reynolds at third base and play Chad Tracy at first.

It also meant more time in right field for Eric Byrnes, who has been asked to play all three outfield positions this year, even though he seems to have had most of his problems in right.

But with Carlos Quentin struggling to find his swing at Class AAA Tucson, Byrnes could settle into right for a while if Jackson splits time in left with Scott Hairston or Jeff Salazar. Quentin, however, is expected back in the majors at some point, as Melvin has called him "our right fielder."

"I feel good with it," Jackson, who went 0-for-4, said of playing in left. "I don't care where I am on the field, I just want to play. I think we're all swinging it pretty good."

Jackson played outfield earlier in his pro career, but has spent the better part of the past three seasons at first base. But Tracy is better there, defensively, and Reynolds seems better at third than Tracy. Meanwhile, the club can still bring the big bat of Tony Clark, another first baseman and a switch hitter, off the bench.

Monday was the first time in a National League park that Reynolds, Tracy and Jackson were in the starting lineup at the same time. It was just the second time Jackson has ever played left in the majors.

BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Arizona got sole home runs from Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds, but it wasn't enough as the Brewers hit two in the first run and scored another run in the fifth to beat Micah Owings and the Diamondbacks in the first game of a four-game series at Miller Park.

Corey Hart hit a solo homer, Ryan Braun added a two-run shot and Prince Fielder hit a two-out RBI double to score what proved to be the winning run. Francisco Cordero struck out the side in the ninth for his 29th save.

The Diamondbacks have lost two in a row and 10 of their past 14 overall. They also have now lost a season-high six straight on the road and nine of their last 10 away from home.

Owings (5-5) allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings.

NOTES, QUOTES

--OF Jeff DaVanon was activated from the 60-day disabled list and was recalled from his rehab assignment with Class AAA Tucson. OF Jeff Salazar, who had been a bright spot since being recalled several days ago, was assigned to Tucson.

"He's played well enough to stay," manager Bob Melvin said.

--LHP Doug Davis on his first visit back to Milwaukee since being acquired in the off-season in a trade with the Brewers: "I wouldn't mind coming back (as a free agent in 2009), but I wouldn't mind staying here, either. I'm happy in both places."

--The Diamondbacks have drawn walks just 31 times since June 29, the fewest amount in the majors during that span.

--INF Chad Tracy's right knee, which has been bothered by tendinitis, was feeling better on Monday. He was back in the starting lineup, playing first base against the Brewers, although he went 0-for-4.

--OF Justin Upton homered for the second consecutive game on Sunday for Class AA Mobile and now has hit 10 in 212 at-bats there.

BY THE NUMBERS:
75 -- Text messages received by outfielder Jeff Salazar after his highlight-film catch in right field on July 13 to rob San Diego's Brian Giles of a home run when he scaled the fence to pull the ball back.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Even if I play the year out, I'm not going to shut the door to the Diamondbacks. We haven't set a deadline. Either it'll get done or I'll play the year out, and we can hopefully come up with something in the off-season." -- Outfielder Eric Byrnes, who is set to become a free agent after the season, on the possibility of signing a multi-year deal with the Diamondbacks.

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LF Eric Byrnes (profile)
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