OAKLAND, Calif. - When the designated hitter roulette wheel landed on Jeff DaVanon Friday night, he became the first Diamondback to serve in that role more than once this season.
That doesn’t mean DaVanon will DH in the Diamondbacks’ final two interleague games this weekend. The club has played seven games in American League parks and used six different designated hitters, and manager Bob Melvin said the mixing and matching should continue.
One reason DaVanon got the nod Friday was because Tony Clark has been hampered by a sore right shoulder. Melvin said a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed no structural damage and Clark is still available to play.
The discomfort began early in the Diamondbacks’ most recent homestand, but Clark has continued to pinch-hit. He hasn’t started a game since June 21.
“That’s one of the reasons I’ve kind of shied away from using him lately,” Melvin said.
So a full day in the lineup fell to DaVanon, who served as the DH extensively last year with the Angels. He batted just .231 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 108 games.
Many players complain that sitting on the bench rather than playing in the field makes it difficult to keep one’s head in the game.
That wasn’t the issue for DaVanon.
“It didn’t bother me, I just didn’t do it very well,” DaVanon said. “It’s good when you get hits and bad when you make outs. The biggest thing is just staying loose.”
CRUZ ON MEND?
Edgar Gonzalez is still a Diamondback, but he’s not exactly sure what the club’s plans are for him.
That’s because Juan Cruz’s bullpen session didn’t offer much clarity as to whether or not he’ll be available to come off the disabled list for Monday’s start.
Though Melvin said Cruz pitched well, the club feels no sense of urgency to announce a roster move. That’s partially because Gonzalez has pitched well (seven earned runs in 13 innings) and partially because the team doesn’t particularly need the roster spot to add a reliever.
“We’ll see how he responds (Saturday),” Melvin said of Cruz, out since June 4 with a sore right shoulder. “We’re in no hurry until we actually get to that day (Monday).”
Melvin exchanged phone messages with National League All-Star manager Phil Garner of the Astros Friday, but he didn’t get a chance to lobby on behalf his players.
He did get a chance to dig at his friend, who received a one-game suspension for throwing a chair onto the field following his ejection from the Astros’ game Monday.
Melvin has been on an ejection tear of his own, having been tossed from three of the Diamondbacks’ last nine games.
“I told him I think I’ve got him in ejections of late, but I haven’t thrown any chairs on the field,” Melvin said. “So we’re pretty even all around.”