ANSAS CITY, Mo. - Shea Hillenbrand is fitting right in with the Diamondbacks. He's injured.
Hillenbrand, whose strained left oblique (rib-cage muscle) was examined Monday by team physician Michael Lee, said Tuesday he was told to sit out 5 to 7 days.
“It's tough, but hopefully we can nip it in the bud and it won't be too big of a deal,” said Hillenbrand, who suffered the injury Sunday on a swing. “Every day it's been getting better.”
Luis Gonzalez missed eight days with a similar injury last August.
In eight games since being acquired May 29 from Boston for pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim, Hillenbrand has hit .286 — .333 with men in scoring position — with five extra-base hits and six RBIs.
Manager Bob Brenly said he can use Carlos Baerga, Alex Cintron and Robby Hammock at third base in Hillenbrand's absence.
“We've got some options,” said Brenly, who started Cintron at third Tuesday. “It's pretty much a day-to-day thing.”
Closer Matt Mantei underwent an MRI on Monday, but it showed no problem with his neck or spine. The Diamondbacks believe the sprained ligament in his shoulder is related to weakness in his trapezius muscle, where he had an anti-inflammatory injection May 17.
Mantei will work on strengthening the trapezius and will rejoin the team when he is ready to throw, perhaps next week in Houston.
- Set-up man Mike Koplove, eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday, will be activated Friday at the earliest. Koplove, working back from shoulder tendinitis, threw 12 minutes of long toss Tuesday. He will work off a mound today and take Thursday off.
- Center fielder Steve Finley sat out his fifth straight game Tuesday. An MRI Monday showed a slight strain of his right hamstring. Trainer Paul Lessard said there is a “very strong possibility” Finley could play today, although Kansas City is scheduled to start left-hander Darrell May, and Finley has a .185 average against lefties.
- David Dellucci, recovering from a concussion, ran for three minutes, hit in the indoor batting cage and shagged fly balls. Dellucci, eligible to be activated next Tuesday, reported no problems with depth perception.
- Bret Prinz threw sliders and change-ups Tuesday for the first time since his opening-day groin injury. Prinz will throw another bullpen session Friday, followed by batting practice and fielding drills next Tuesday. He is on schedule to begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment June 26.
- Lessard said the swelling in Curt Schilling's broken right hand has gone down enough that he can grip a baseball. Schilling is still two weeks from throwing.
- Reliever Oscar Villarreal pitched Tuesday for the first time since a Frank Thomas shot off his left shin Thursday. Villarreal threw for 2-3 minutes in the bullpen before the game to test his leg.
- Matt Williams is expected to clear waivers today, making him a free agent. While Williams has not yet said whether he wants to continue playing, he could have a few options.
A source said Colorado, Boston and the Chicago Cubs expressed interest to the Diamondbacks after Williams was designated for assignment, although no trade could be worked out. Any team that signs Williams has to pay him only the pro-rated minimum salary — about $180,000 — with Arizona responsible for the remainder of his $10 million salary (about $6 million over the rest of the season).
- Brandon Webb said he had “just regular soreness” after Sunday's start, his first after a DL stint, so he will return on regular rest Friday, against Minnesota's Johan Santana.
Miguel Batista will start Sunday (vs. Joe Mays) and is available for relief tonight. Arizona will decide later whether Andrew Good or John Patterson starts next Tuesday's series opener at Houston.
Second-round draft pick Jamie D'Antona, the ACC player of the year from Wake Forest, signed Tuesday for a $560,000 bonus. D'Antona, a third baseman, will report to short-season Class A Yakima and could join a full-season club later in the summer. Other signings Tuesday include Purdue right-hander Dustin Grant (seventh round), San Diego State right-hander Joseph Carque (20th), Delaware State right-hander Tim Vaillancourt (31st), Penn third baseman John McCreery (32nd) and Missouri Baptist outfielder Cristobal Melendez (39th). Five of the top 10 picks have signed. . . .
Hillenbrand is still second among third baseman in NL All-Star voting totals released Tuesday, although St. Louis’ Scott Rolen leads by a wide margin. . . .
Sunday's ALS/Diamondbacks Charities broadcast auction raised $70,000.
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