Kennedy takes hill days after birth of child
After wife delivers on Sunday, pitcher makes it to Texas on time
ARLINGTON -- D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy arrived in Dallas late Tuesday morning in plenty of time for his Tuesday night start against the Rangers.
Kennedy's wife, Allison, gave birth to the couple's second child Sunday.
Before he left for the ballpark Sunday morning, Allison told him that he should keep his phone handy.
Later he got a text from Allison that she thought she was definitely having contractions and was going to skip going to church. Kennedy went out to throw his normal between-start bullpen session, but brought along his cell phone in case Allison needed him.
Pitching coach Charles Nagy held onto the phone, and about midway through his session, Nagy read Kennedy a text.
"Today will probably be the day," Allison wrote. "Come home after your bullpen."
Kennedy left the ballpark around 11:30 a.m. and made it home to take Allison to the hospital.
Renee Elaine Kennedy was born at 4:03 p.m.
All and all it could not have been timed any better. Had Allison given birth a day or two later, Kennedy likely would have had to miss his Tuesday start.
"I was really hoping it would happen on the homestand," Kennedy said. "It happened on the last day where nothing had to change with the rotation. I had originally booked a flight for Monday, but then cancelled it. There was no way I was leaving them Monday."
Kubel welcomes opportunity to DH again
ARLINGTON -- There was a time Jason Kubel did not like serving as a designated hitter.
The D-backs outfielder, though, welcomed the opportunity to DH on Tuesday in the first of six straight games Arizona will play in American League parks.
"I don't mind it one bit right now," Kubel said. "It's nice just to take it a little easy, I guess. It's half a day off, pretty much."
In his seven seasons with the Twins, Kubel appeared in 321 games as a DH, hitting .273 with a .796 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
That experience was one of the reasons D-backs manager Kirk Gibson decided to shift Kubel from left field to DH and insert Gerardo Parra in left.
"I know he's done it," Gibson said. "It's a little different mentality. Sometimes when you have an at-bat, you go out and play the field, it gets you to move on. When you're a DH, sometimes you've got nothing to do but think about your at-bat. He's done it before, he should be good for it."
As with most things with his lineup, though, just because Kubel is the DH on Tuesday does not necessarily mean he'll be there Wednesday.
"I do it day by day," Gibson said of his lineup decisions.
Any opportunity Gibson has to get Parra into a game defensively, he likes to. After all, Parra did earn a National League Gold Glove Award last year for his work in left.
"Kubel's been good and he's thrown the ball well for us, but Parra's really good," Gibson said. "If I can get him out there, I'll always get him out there. He gets to the ball, he's got great hands and he's got a well-above-average arm with well-above-average carry."
Injured shortstop Stephen Drew played his third game for Triple-A Reno on Monday as part of his rehabilitation assignment. Drew is scheduled to have Tuesday and Wednesday off before playing in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday. There is still no timetable for his return.
The D-backs won their first five games after managing general partner Ken Kendrick appeared on a local radio show and made critical comments about Drew and outfielder Justin Upton. Gibson was asked if he thought those comments had made a difference.
"I don't know, I'm not that smart," Gibson said. "We've played better, we've talked about a lot of things and just stuck together and we've had good results and that's always good."
Reliever Takashi Saito, who has been on the disabled list all season with a strained calf, did not pitch well in a rehab outing for Reno on Monday. The right-hander allowed a pair of runs on four hits in one-third of an inning.
"His calf was fine," Gibson said. "But he didn't throw the ball very good."
Saito is scheduled to pitch again Wednesday.