Notes: Differences between D-backs duo
Jackson and Quentin bring different mentalities to ballpark
PHOENIX -- Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin were selected 10 picks apart in the first round of the 2003 Draft and have both struggled in the Majors this season after prolific Minor League careers.That's about where the similarities end, at least as far as approaches go. Quentin has long been known as a player who's too hard on himself, makings things especially tough on him when he's hit .207 with five homers and 28 RBIs this season.
"It's always been something that's worked very well for him, though," manager Bob Melvin said. "Each day it's not a real carefree attitude where he's grinding on it, whether he's doing well or he's not. You appreciate the fact the hard work that he puts in and how serious he takes it. Now is there a line that you go over a little bit by grinding too hard? Sure, at times, but everybody deals with their issues."On the other side there's Jackson, who has also struggled for the first time in his career early this season. He brings a much looser attitude to the ballpark than Quentin, though. "He's completely opposite from Carlos," Melvin said. "Those are two complete 'end of the spectrum' guys."
Speaking of Jackson: Jackson has gotten things going recently, hitting .440 during Arizona's eight-game winning streak, including the game-winning hit on Saturday, after batting .258 for the season up to that point."There's a week whether it's a couple weeks, but an extended period is something that Conor Jackson just didn't have to deal with before," Melvin said. "So sometimes it's a wake-up call, make you a little tougher to get through these things, but he's getting a good at-bat every time up right now." Treatment for Tracy: After getting his second start in the past eight games on Sunday, Chad Tracy will receive injections of gel to treat the tendinitis in his right knee during Monday's off-day. This will be the first time he has taken this sort of treatment, but it has been successful for Randy Johnson for several years. Tracy will also get the injection for the next three off-days. "We'll see how they respond to this," Melvin said. "They hadn't done that before with him, so sometimes it's immediate and a quick fix. Other times guy don't react to it as well, so being his first time we'll see where he's at." The injection involves a gel-like substance that is shot between the bones to provide elasticity and coating to alleviate the grinding. It's not like a cortisone shot where the player must rest for 48-72 hours, so Tracy could be available on Tuesday. Streaking into first: Back on July 20, the D-backs dropped into fourth place in the National League West by percentage points and fell 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers and Padres. Fast forward to Sunday and Arizona has moved within percentage points of the Dodgers and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Padres in the Wild-Card race. With the pitching being consistent for the most part all year, an offense that has averaged 5.6 runs per game has propelled the club to its eight-game winning streak, tied for the longest of the season. Another win would give the D-backs their best streak since June 2003. "The offense has gotten better, and I think that has a lot to do with this current streak that we've had," Melvin said. "The offense has been as good as we've seen all year, so it's a combination of things, and usually when you get a combination you have a chance to put together streaks like this." Family matters: The D-backs hosted family day before Sunday's game, with the players bringing their children on the field to play Wiffle ball and get to know each other. "It's nice to have your family around, have family games and so forth and put them out on the field," Melvin said. "I know guys look forward to this day so they can have their kids out on the field and sort of mix and mingle with other families and so forth." Up next: The D-back start a critical six-game divisional road trip against the Padres and Dodgers after Monday's off-day. Ace Brandon Webb (8-8, 3.23) will take the mound Tuesday for the streaking D-backs against San Diego's Justin Germano (6-5, 4.20). "It's always nice to have confidence going into San Diego and L.A.," Melvin said.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.