If the Diamondbacks call, Bob Gebhard is more than willing to answer.
"I really enjoyed what I was doing this year,’’ said Gebhard, who joined the D-Backs’ organization this season as a special assistant to general manager Joe Garagiola Jr.
"But I also would have interest in being the general manager, whether it is on a short-term basis or in a longer one.’’
D-Backs general partner Jeff Moorad met with Gebhard to discuss the impending general manager vacancy Wednesday, and Gebhard has emerged as the No. 1 candidate to serve as the interim general manager for the rest of the season, even as Moorad fielded calls from several interested parties.
"Bob and I had a productive discussion about the best way to handle things on the baseball side during the next couple of months,’’ Moorad said. "We’re just taking things one step at a time.’’
Garagiola has accepted the position as senior executive vice president of operations for Major League Baseball. While he is to begin his new job Aug. 15, the D-Backs would like to have a successor in place by the start of a 12-game road trip Tuesday in Florida, Moorad said.
Gebhard served as Colorado’s general manager from 1991-99 before working in the St. Louis front office from 2000-04.
He most recently was involved in scouting major league players that might be available in trading deadline deals.
"The thing we have to do is make sure nothing slides through the cracks . . . with disabled lists and waiver wires and all that,’’ Gebhard said.
"He recognizes sooner is better than later, and the sooner he gets that person in place, whoever it might be, the better off we are all going to be.’’
While the non-waiver trading deadline is past, teams can still make trades if the players involved clear waivers.
Matt Williams, who joined the organization as a partner this season, said he is not interested in the interim position.
Russ Ortiz threw 79 pitches in 2 1 /3 innings for Class A Lancaster on Wednesday, giving up 10 runs and 12 hits while striking out one and walking one against Inland Empire. Ortiz is to start again Monday for Triple-A Tucson in Omaha to get his pitch count into the 90-95 range and could join the D-Backs on their next trip.
Brandon Lyon, held back by the stomach flu, will make his next rehab appearance Saturday, health permitting. He is scheduled to pitch in back-toback games Tuesday and Wednesday. Oscar Villarreal is to go back-to-back Friday and Saturday for Tucson.
Shawn Estes (left foot) is out of a protective boot but is wearing an orthotic in his left shoe and will see foot specialist Dr. Pete Mitchell later this week. He also is expected to make three rehab starts before he is ready to rejoin the team.
Kelly Stinnett (left wrist) is scheduled to catch five innings for Lancaster today, DH Friday, then catch nine innings Saturday before being reassessed. . . .
Bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock’s son, Tim, met with representatives from the Phillies on Tuesday but is leaning toward accepting his scholarship to Duke. Sherlock, who attends Chaparral High, was the Phillies’ 32nd-round draft choice in June. Former manager Bob Brenly said in Chicago last week that his son Michael, who attended Notre Dame Prep, will attend UNLV after being a 43rd-round draft choice of the Cubs.