D-backs Deal Evan Scribner for Tony Clark

D-backs Deal Evan Scribner for Tony Clark

The Diamondbacks reacquired an integral piece of the 2007 NL West championship team when they obtained first baseman Tony Clark from San Diego for minor league pitcher Evan Scribner on Thursday.

INSIDE PITCH

Tony Clark, who makes his home in the Phoenix area, waived a $500,000 reassignment bonus to make the deal work.

A switch hitter, Clark is expected to reprise his role as a top pinch hitter/platoon player and as a veteran clubhouse presence for an otherwise young group of position players.

"We are thrilled to bring Tony back to Arizona," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He certainly was a key ingredient to our success last year, and we hope he can contribute to another post-season run in 2008."

Clark hit 17 home runs and drove in 51 runs in 221 at-bats for the D-backs last season and wished to return via free agency in the offseason, but negotiations on a new deal stalled and he signed a one-year deal with San Diego for $900,000.

He hit .239 with one homer and 11 RBIs for the Padres this season, making 10 starts (nine as a DH) and 60 pinch-hit appearances.

Clark hit 53 home runs with the D-backs from 2005-07, when he was used primarily as a left-handed hitter. His one home run this season came from the right side, however, and he could provide an occasional alternative to left-handed-hitting first baseman Chad Tracy

The acquisition also signals that first baseman/outfielder Conor Jackson will be used almost exclusively in left field the rest of the way in the absence of Eric Byrnes, who is likely to miss the rest of the year with a left hamstring injury.

SNAKE BYTES

--1B Chad Tracy finished the first half of the season with four consecutive multi-hit games, going 10-for-21 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs to raise his batting average to a season-high .309. He was 4-for-5 with three RBIs against left-handers in that stretch. "Tell-tale with him is when he starts hitting the ball to all fields," manager Bob Melvin said.

--1B Tony Clark was reacquired from San Diego, with Clark waiving a $500,000 trade bonus to make the deal work. Clark hit 53 home runs with the D-backs from 2005-07 while providing a significant clubhouse presence in their run to the 2007 NL West title. A switch hitter, Clark will be used as a pinch hitter and a platoon option with 1B Chad Tracy. 1B/OF Conor Jackson is expected to play most of the second half in left field in place of Eric Byrnes, who likely will miss the rest of the season with a left hamstring injury.

--LHP Daniel Schlereth, the D-backs' first-round pick in the June draft, received a $1.33 million bonus when he signed with the team. He is to join rookie-level Missoula. Schlereth, the son of former Washington Redskins All-Pro offensive tackle Mark Schlereth, was 2-0 with a 1.81 ERA as a junior at the University of Arizona this season, striking out 76 in 54 2/3 innings with a fastball that D-backs scouts clocked at 97 mph.

--RHP Brandon Webb (13-4, 3.23) was pressed into service in the 14th inning of the All-Star Game after throwing 108 pitches against Philadelphia on Sunday. He threw 14 pitches in one shutout inning, striking out the final two he faced. The D-backs still plan for him to make his next start Sunday, in the final game of a three-game home series against Los Angeles.

--The D-backs, who have led the NL West for 101 days, built their lead by going 21-10 inside the division, most of the games in April. They jump right back into division play after the All-Star break, with 13 of their first 16 games against NL West foes, including seven against the second-place Dodgers. The D-backs have 38 of their remaining 67 games in the division -- 13 against the Dodgers, 10 against San Francisco, nine against San Diego and six against Colorado.

BY THE NUMBERS: 98 -- Consecutive days in which the D-backs led or were tied for the NL West lead before the All-Star break, from April 7 on.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Watching me hit and run is like watching Manute Bol shoot a 3-pointer, I guess... maybe once in awhile I am lucky enough to put the ball in play. I've had the same thing done against (me). I know that can help." -- LHP Randy Johnson, whose two-run double in a nine-pitch at-bat started an eight-run rally when he recorded his 290th career victory in Philadelphia on Saturday.

MEDICAL WATCH:

RF Justin Upton (sore left oblique) was scratched from the lineup July 9 and didn't play July 10-13.

C Chris Snyder (left testicular fracture) went on the 15-day disabled list July 1. Manager Bob Melvin said he could be back right after the All-Star break. He played catch July 8 and should return to the team for the weekend of July 19-20.

RHP Juan Cruz (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 6.

OF Eric Byrnes (torn left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list July 1. He was scheduled to have an MRI on July 9, and he is likely out for the season even if he doesn't require surgery. An earlier hamstring problem caused him to miss 35 games this season, and while he will avoid surgery, he is likely to miss the rest of the season.

RHP Edgar Gonzalez (right elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 28. He opted against surgery, and he was prepared to begin a four- to six-week throwing program just before the All-Star break.

 


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