Notes: Starting infield day-to-day deal
Reynolds sits Monday, but will be at third vs. lefty on Tuesday
PHOENIX -- With the D-backs returning home after six games of using the designated hitter in American League parks, manager Bob Melvin answered the question of what to do with his glut of corner infielders by benching third baseman Mark Reynolds.But, Melvin warned, that's only the answer to the Monday lineup, as Reynolds will be back in there Tuesday against left-hander J.P. Howell. "We've got to play for the best lineup of the day," said Melvin, who started Conor Jackson at first base and Chad Tracy at third. "It's not going to be easy rotating some of these guys. Today is the start of the dance." Besides third base -- the only position he has started at in the big leagues -- Reynolds said he has prepared at shortstop and first base, where he took grounders during batting practice Monday. He has even taken some fly balls. The biggest struggle for young players used to starting involves coming off the bench or platooning with another player, Melvin said, adding it's an "acquired taste." "It definitely is," Reynolds said, "but it's one of those things where you've just got to prepare for it before the game and take swings and stay loose during the game, and if your number's called upon, you've got to get the job done. It's something I've never really done before, but whatever helps me stick around up here and helps them be successful." Still, Reynolds has some experience to draw from in the Minor Leagues. Last year he said he showed up at the ballpark unaware of if he would be starting until he arrived, an experience he said would help. "It's just one of those things where you're given an opportunity, you've got to take advantage of it and maybe string some starts together and get on a hot streak again," Reynolds said. "And next thing you know, you're in the lineup every day." Hairston earns another start: At least for now, Melvin said he does not plan on moving one of the corner infielders into the outfield. Instead, with Carlos Quentin struggling, Scott Hairston started his fifth straight game Monday, hitting fifth and playing left field. "Scotty deserves a chance," Melvin said. "He's swinging the bat well, so we're just trying to shuffle it around here and see if this thing works its way out." Quentin, on the other hand, did not start for the third time in the last five games. Since May 28, he has hit .149 (7-for-47) with no home runs and two RBIs. On the recently completed six-game road trip, he recorded one hit in 14 at-bats (.071) with no RBIs and six strikeouts. "Carlos can be his own worst enemy at times," Melvin said. "He's real hard on himself, and a very accountable guy that wants to be there and step up for his team, and when he doesn't, he can get down on himself a little bit. Scotty's been swinging the bat well.
"It's probably as simple as Carlos just getting a few hits, a couple bloopers to fall in there, hit a ball in the gap, and then all of a sudden, a lot of times a light turns on. But he's just struggling a little bit at the plate right now, and Scotty's swinging a little better."Big Unit update: Randy Johnson visited spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday. Watkins examined the results of an MRI exam Johnson underwent Friday for glute tightness that caused him to go on the disabled list. Melvin said the club would have a clearer picture of Johnson's return schedule when he comes back Tuesday with those results. The manager said Johnson still eyes a return next week against the Dodgers, likely June 26, when he's eligible to come off the DL, although right now, it's unknown if that's realistic before hearing from Watkins. Johnson went 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his past five starts, making the DL stint a surprise to Melvin. Johnson has endured little aches and pains during the season, but Melvin said none affected the veteran like this one. "Usually it's one day, whether it's the day after or the next day, and then he's able to get through it," Melvin said. "Where this one was significant enough to where we had to put him on the DL. This is just something that popped up that has potential to pop up every now and then. We'll try to play cautious with it." No decision yet on Gonzalez: Melvin said he would decide Tuesday if he would skip Edgar Gonzalez's turn in the rotation with Thursday's off-day. Gonzalez took the spot-start in place of Johnson on Saturday, but he could be skipped to keep everybody on regular rest, which would start with Brandon Webb on Friday. "We'll see how Webbie is today," Melvin said. "We didn't feel like we taxed him too much. We'd like to keep it fairly consistent. I know Edgar would like to get in there, and he's warranted another start, yet when you go from [Nos.] 5 to 4, and spot-start a guy, it's probably better off if everybody's pitching well to stay on turn with these guys." D-backs for charity: Four D-backs will take part in a "Buses for Baseball" event before Tuesday's game at Chase Field. As part of a program taking place throughout the league, Tony Clark, Hairston, Orlando Hudson and Tracy will welcome several disadvantaged children, many of whom will watch their first Major League game. Besides the kids getting transportation and game tickets, the players will sign autographs, pose for photos and answer questions. Up next: A pair of lefties will take the hill Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MST when the D-backs play the second game of a three-game set against the Devil Rays. Arizona's Doug Davis faces Tampa Bay's J.P. Howell.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.