Owings Demoted to AAA; Petit Joins Rotation
Micah Owings (Evan Vucci/AP)

Posted Jul 30, 2008


The Diamondbacks adjusted their starting staff Tuesday, optioning Micah Owings to the Tucson Sidewinders and promoting Yusmeiro Petit into the rotation for a Saturday start at Los Angeles. Right-handed reliever Jailen Peguero replaces Owings on the 25-man roster.

Micah Owings, 6-9 with a 5.93 ERA, was optioned to the Triple-A a day after giving up eight two-out runs in three innings of an 8-5 loss in San Diego. The D-backs recalled right-handed reliever Jailen Peguero to fill the roster spot.  Peguero was 5-4 with four saves and a 4.42 ERA in 41 appearances for Tucson, with 60 strikeouts in 59 innings.

"It was very difficult," manager Bob Melvin said of the decision. "It became pretty evident we had to clear some things up with Micah. Whether it is confidence ... (or) at times mechanical. His bullpens have been good, but he hasn't been able to take it to the mound all the time. I still think he's going to be a key component this year."

Owings won his first four starts of the season with a 2.42 ERA but had not won since May 25, going 0-6 with a 6.87 ERA in his past nine starts. He made three relief appearances to help ease the burden on an overworked bullpen in July before returning to the rotation Monday, when he allowed eight two-out runs in three innings of an 8-5 loss to San Diego.

"The past few months have been tough, because I haven't been able to keep myself or my team in the game," Owings said after Monday's start. "It's real frustrating. I'm disappointed I let the team down."

Petit is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 11 appearances with the D-backs this season. He has given up three runs in 17 innings -- two starts and three relief appearances -- since being recalled July 1 to replace right-hander Edgar Gonzalez (right elbow). 

"He has some deception to his delivery that enables his pitches to play at a higher level. He seems to be comfortable with competition," D-backs pitching coach Bryan Price said.

"I'm very excited because I have an opportunity to start and help the team," added Petit, who pitched five innings to beat the Cubs 9-2 in a spot start July 22.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, PADRES 0: LHP Doug Davis retired the first 20 batters he faced before OF Brian Giles broke up his perfect game on a single to center field with two outs in the seventh inning. Davis wound up allowing two hits over 7 2/3 innings for his first victory since June 30. Alex Romero had a two-run single in a three-run sixth and saved the game with a sprinting catch at the right-center-field fence with the bases loaded and two outs in the last of the eighth to preserve the lead. "That's as good a play as I've ever seen," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said.

SNAKE BYTES

--LHP Doug Davis had a perfect game for 6 2/3 innings before San Diego OF Brian Giles lined a single to center with two outs in the last of the seventh inning in the D-backs' 3-0 victory. Davis struck out eight and walked two, both in the eighth inning, and the Padres got only one ball out of the infield until Giles' hit. "I was conscious (of the perfect game) the whole way," Davis said. "I was thinking, challenge the hitter. Throw strikes and let them hit it. When I got ahead, I was able to elevate the high fastball."

--OF Alex Romero not only made the D-backs' catch of the year, racing to the wall to snare San Diego OF Jody Gerut's drive with the bases loaded in a 3-0 game, he also singled home the final two runs of the D-backs' sixth inning and had the first stolen base of his career, stealing third with two outs in the sixth. "I just try to hit the ball hard and don't try to do too much," Romero said of his offensive approach.

--RHP Juan Cruz threw 37 pitches in two innings for Triple-A Tucson, his last tune-up before returning to the D-Backs on Thursday in Los Angeles. Cruz gave up three hits and a run while striking out two in his longest appearance of the season, as the D-backs wanted to stretch him out to prepare him for a role as a middle reliever/long reliever after adding RHP Jon Rauch to the back end of the bullpen last week.

BY THE NUMBERS: .818 -- OF Conor Jackson's career batting average against San Francisco LHP Jonathan Sanchez, after Jackson doubled and homered off Sanchez on Friday. Jackson is 9-for-11 with a double and two homers off Sanchez.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The time of day we started was ridiculous. You couldn't see anything. It was almost scary. The sun was glaring off the backdrop (in center field) ... the ball is white, the backdrop is white. You don't pick the ball up. You can't tell what the spin is." -- 1B Chad Tracy, after a 6:05 pm start in San Francisco in a matchup of RHPs Brandon Webb and Tim Lincecum.

MEDICAL WATCH:

LHP Doug Slaten (right knee strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 19. He threw off a mound July 28, but it still wasn't clear whether he'd be able to come off the disabled list after the minimum 15 days.

RF Justin Upton (sore left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 9. He hit soft-toss in the indoor batting cage July 28.

RHP Juan Cruz (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 6. He is expected to return July 31.

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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