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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-04-14

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-04-14

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-04-14
Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin has used seven different lineups in the first seven games, and it's a trend that might continue.

Melvin has always believed in matching up to give his hitters the best chance to succeed while at the same time riding the hot hand, and the 2009 D-backs' edition might be the deepest and most malleable he has had in his five seasons here.

The D-backs have four starting outfielders and four starting corner infielders now that outfielder Eric Byrnes has recovered from the hamstring issues that bothered him all of 2008 and infielder Chad Tracy has enough bounce in his knee to play third base again.

Byrnes already has started in right field three times for outfielder Justin Upton and once in left field, when Conor Jackson moved in from the outfield to play first base against Colorado left-hander Franklin Morales. Tracy started the season opener at third base, a position he has not played regularly since 2006 because of two knee injuries. Third baseman Mark Reynolds has started the other six.

"The only message that we're sending is that we're trying to run the best lineup out there on a particular day," Melvin said on opening day. "They know that. We addressed that. So there are no hidden messages for anybody. It's about winning, and everybody is on board with that."

Byrnes is likely to play all three outfield positions behind Jackson, Chris Young and Upton. Jackson, Tracy and Tony Clark already have started at first base -- Clark homered twice in his opening-day start -- and Reynolds and Tracy have started at third base. Reynolds set a major league record with 204 strikeouts last season.

The D-backs already have used six hitters in the No. 7 spot in the order -- Jackson, Reynolds, catcher Chris Snyder, Young, Tracy and Upton.

CARDINALS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Arizona continues to struggle to score runs. 1B Chad Tracy's RBI double in the fourth inning was the extent of the D-backs' offense against St. Louis RHP Todd Wellemeyer on Monday night, which means they have scored four runs in their last three games, all losses, to fall to 2-5. They have scored nine runs in each of their two victories and six runs total in their five losses. LHP Doug Davis gave up home runs to 1B Albert Pujols and former D-back Brian Barden, who broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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