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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-05-16

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-05-16

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-05-16
The most obvious change during new manager A.J. Hinch's week-long reign is in his deployment of the catchers.

Miguel Montero, the D-backs' backup catcher last season, has been in the lineup almost as much as 2008 starter Chris Snyder in Hinch's seven games. Snyder, who parlayed a career offensive season into a three-year, $14.5 million contract extension over the winter, has started four games while Montero has started three.

"Not to create any sort of competition, but we are going to use them both. They both are good players," said Hinch, who turned 35 Friday. "They are both major league starters, in my opinion, and we have to make the most of them.

"It's not always a right-left thing. It's not a platoon. Maybe Montero will get a start against a lefty. There is going to be a lot that goes into that decision. Catching momentum, see how they are playing and make decisions."

Montero, whom the front office has always embraced, hit No. 2 in the order for the first time in his career Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati, Hinch saying he wanted to put a left-hander high in the lineup against RHP Micah Owings.

"Obviously I want to play more, especially this year," said Montero, who will be eligible for salary arbitration after this season. "I would like to help any way, starting or on the bench. Whenever they call, I have to be ready."

Snyder hit .237 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 64 RBI in 115 games last season, when he caught all of RHP Brandon Webb's starts and 24 of RHP Dan Haren's 33 starts. He is hitting .206 this season.

Montero is hitting .240 with two homers and five RBI this season after hitting .255 with 16 doubles, five homers and 18 RBI in 184 at-bats in 2008.

BRAVES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: The D-backs extended their losing streak to a season-long four games when RHP Tony Pena gave up a walk-off sacrifice fly to SS Yunel Escobar in the last of the ninth inning Friday. SS Stephen Drew, in his second start since coming off the disabled list, tied the game in the top of the ninth with his second homer of the season. Drew has three homers in 34 at-bats at Turner Field, the closest major league park to his Hahira, Ga., home.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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