SAN FRANCISCO - Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin reiterated Thursday he would like one of his catchers to emerge as at least a semiregular, and Chris Snyder seems to be making the first move.
Snyder made his fourth consecutive start on Thursday while handling Russ Ortiz for the fourth straight time this season. He also has caught all three of Brandon Webb’s outings and the last three of Javier Vazquez’s.
"He’s really kind of made me put him in there,’’ Melvin said. "I’m not saying he’s the everyday guy, but what he does here of late has warranted more playing time for him.’’
Snyder was hitting .324 and had four hits in his previous nine at-bats entering Thursday’s game.
"I’d like one of them to go ahead and grasp it,’’ Melvin said of the starting job. "With catchers, you are never going to go 15 games in a row with a guy, with day games after night games. We still do feel like we have two guys who can be everyday players.’’
Koyie Hill, who has made four starts this season, will catch Brad Halsey today. Those two have been matched in each of Halsey’s first two starts.
"We both know how each pitcher likes to work, and we both know little things that make that pitcher click,’’ Snyder said of him and Hill.
TALK TO THE GLOVE
Halsey will sport a newly stitched glove for his start against San Diego today after Washington manager Frank Robinson made him change gloves before the third inning of his start last Sunday.
Rules state a pitcher’s glove must be a single color, and Halsey’s brown glove came factory-equipped with black stitching in the webbing. So Robinson complained, although some felt he was trying to play mind games with a young pitcher, especially one having success.
Halsey faced the minimum over two innings and gave up only one run in the first six innings Sunday.
"I don’t think it affects the hitter’s ability to pick up the ball,’’ said Halsey, who borrowed Michael Gosling’s glove for the rest of the game. "Who cares? It didn’t bother me.’’
Trainer Paul Lessard restrung the glove with brown stitching on this trip.
Melvin said Luis Gonzalez is "back to his old throwing strength," 9 1 /2 months after undergoing "Tommy John" ligamentreplacement surgery, adding, "Therefore they are not running in his face, not challenging him on fly balls.’’ Gonzalez said he did not challenge Mike Matheny’s attempt to score from third base on a oneout fly ball in the ninth inning of a 2-0 game Wednesday because he did not want to take a chance on the runner on first advancing to second. "That run meant nothing," Gonzalez said. . . .
If all goes well in pitcher Jose Valverde’s recovery, his return to the D-Backs will most likely be early in the 10-game homestand that begins May 2 against San Francisco, Melvin said. The Giants’ Barry Bonds was targeted to return from his latest knee surgery at that time, too, although the San Francisco Chronicle reported this week that Bonds is unlikely to be ready by then.