PHOENIX -- D-backs catcher Miguel Montero left Monday's game against the Dodgers in the bottom of the sixth inning after straining his left groin chasing a pop foul behind home plate in the top of the frame."I didn't feel any pop, thank God," Montero said. "It was just kind of crampy. It's still early in the season, you don't want it to get worse. You just take it step by step. Good news is it feels a lot better. They worked on it, loosened it up a bit. There was a knot in there, it was tight. It feels better." A team trainer went out to check on the 28-year-old and left him in the game until veteran Henry Blanco pinch-hit for him when the D-backs came up to bat. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after the team's 6-1 loss to the Dodgers that it was too early to discuss the prognosis moving forward without waiting to see how Montero feels Tuesday. Montero said if the injury would've happened in August or September, he would've stayed in the game, but with a day off looming Thursday, the D-backs might take his recovery slow. "A day or two, I don't think more than that, we've got two more games here, then a day off Thursday. I don't know we'll see," Montero said. "I didn't get worse, I wanted to stay in the game to be honest, they just took me out of the game for precautionary reasons." Montero was 0-for-2 on the night and is batting .255 on the season with two homers and 21 RBIs. He has thrown out the highest percentage of basestealers in the Majors at a .593 clip.
D-backs shake up third-base situation
PHOENIX -- The D-backs on Monday recalled Josh Bell from Triple-A Reno, designated Cody Ransom for assignment and shifted Ryan Roberts to more of a utility role.Bell batted eighth in the lineup Monday and is expected to become the team's every day third baseman for the time being. "He'll get a lot of playing time, yes," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was very productive [at Reno], we feel like he deserved an opportunity to come up here. It'll move Ryan Roberts to more of a utility guy, he might play more second base, move him around a little bit, he's versatile in that role." Bell was hitting .381 with nine doubles, four home runs and 30 RBIs in 26 games with the Aces. He was acquired from the Orioles on April 21 for a player to be named later, which turned out to be Mike Belfiore, who was sent to Baltimore on May 12. "He swings the bat good, he's got gap power," Gibson said of Bell, a switch-hitter. "Not a huge home run hitter, but he swings the bat well from both sides of the plate, probably more from the left side. He seems to make all the plays and he's got a good arm. We're hoping we bring him into a good environment." Bell's performance from from May 7-May 13 earned him Pacific Coast League Player of the Week honors. "I feel blessed, not just to be in the big leagues, just to play baseball," Bell said. "[The team] has welcomed me in, they are laid back. I'm thankful I've got guys like that." Bell appeared in 79 Major League games with the Orioles from 2010-11, going 44-for-220 with three homers and 18 RBIs. The D-backs liked Bell in part because he was limiting his strikeouts and putting the ball in play. In 97 at-bats in Triple-A, Bell went down on strikes 17 times. Roberts and Ransom combined to strikeout 43 times in 171 at-bats. "We're looking for more contact. Hopefully he'll be able to provide that," Gibson said. "I've watched him on video quite a bit over the last couple weeks. He swung the bat well. We feel he deserves an opportunity to come up here and show what he can do." Ransom hit .269 with a career-high four home runs and 13 RBI in 17 games with the D-backs this season. "Cody did well for us early on, ultimately we made the decision we were going to make a change at third base," Gibson said. "He did a good job, hopefully he'll come back into our system. He could add depth for us later this year." Entering Monday, Roberts was batting .227 with two homers and 16 RBIs. The 31-year-old has struggled in the field this season, with six errors. "He's not benched, he'll get plenty of time," Gibson said. "We talked last night, yes. We're here to win ballgames, it's nothing personal against anybody. We want versatility and to get better. This is the direction we decided to go."
Parra selected for Fan Vote Bobblehead
PHOENIX -- The D-backs announced on Monday that outfielder Gerardo Parra was selected as the winner of the Fan Vote Bobblehead contest conducted earlier this season.The club will give away 20,000 Parra bobbleheads, presented by freecreditscore.com, on Aug. 11 when the D-backs host the Nationals. Entering Monday's game with the Dodgers, Parra was batting .250 with two homers and 13 RBIs. Originally slated at the beginning of the season as the D-backs' fourth outfielder -- behind Chris Young, Justin Upton and Jason Kubel -- Parra has played in all but three of the club's 42 games in 2012. Fans voted in the contest conducted on the D-backs' Facebook page from February through the end of April. The bobblehead will feature Parra with his National League Gold Glove Award. Parra won his first Gold Glove after cutting down 12 runners from the outfield and committing just two errors in 281 total chances in 2011. On Saturday, the D-backs will give away 20,000 J.J. Putz bobbleheads for the first of five bobblehead giveaways this season. The remaining dates include an Ian Kennedy bobblehead (June 23, courtesy of Arizona Sports 620), Justin Upton Silver Slugger bobblehead (July 28, courtesy of Pepsi), and a Matt Williams Alumni bobblehead (Sept. 15, courtesy of Chase).
Extra work paying off for Bloomquist
PHOENIX -- Entering Monday night's game with the Dodgers, D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist had put together multihit games in each of his last four starts.In his previous 27 games this season, the 34-year-old had five such nights total. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson attributes much of the recent success to the amount of extra swings Bloomquist has taken in the cage, sanctioned or not. "I saw him yesterday going down to the batting cages, he told me only took about 15 swings," Gibson said. "I went back down and he was still in there. He said [outfielder Gerardo] Parra gave him a bat to try. There were 100 balls on the ground. I know he snuck back in there, it's just Willie." When Bloomquist was struggling for much of April and the start of May, Gibson said he may have been trying too hard. He still has the same drive, but now it's working to his advantage. "Willie is the ultimate pro. He's very intense; you can never make him not intense," Gibson said. "He likes to set the tone. He has the game face on and he gets there early. He plays determined. He's taken so many swings to get where he is. He's valuable. He brings a different dimension."
Still rehabbing from a broken ankle sustained last season, D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew is taking a few steps back in terms of playing regularly.He played four innings on Saturday, going 1-for-2 with a double, but he hasn't appeared in an extended spring training game since. "We're slowing him down a little bit, he got too sore," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He pushed it pretty hard. We're pondering what the next move is, what the right direction to take." Before experiencing the soreness, Drew had worked his way up to a full nine-inning game last week for the first time since the injury. After just three games since returning from the disabled list, the D-backs are already experiencing the impact outfielder Chris Young has on the team, both on the field and off it. "Obviously, he had some good hits for us, it was good to have him around the clubhouse," Gibson said. "He's not very quiet. He likes to talk. It's good, keeps us lose. He's a valuable piece to our ballclub." Young had two hits in the three-game series over the weekend in Kansas City, but one was a two-run double. Although he was in the lineup on Monday for the fourth straight day, the D-backs still aren't sure whether he's ready to play every day. "Not sure about that, I monitor it every day," Gibson said. "Hopefully he can catch fire." D-backs pitcher Daniel Hudson, currently on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement, is scheduled to start for Triple-A Reno on Monday and throw 75-80 pitches.