D-backs alter roster to add Benson
Vasquez sent to Reno to make room on roster for Benson
SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs made a pair of roster moves Saturday in order to make room for starter Kris Benson, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Reno.
To clear a spot for him on the 25-man roster, the D-backs optioned reliever Esmerling Vasquez to Reno. The right-hander had appeared in three games and allowed three runs in three innings.
In order to add Benson to the 40-man roster, the D-backs transferred pitcher Brandon Webb from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.
Players who are on the 60-day disabled list do not count against a team's 40-man roster.
Webb, who has not pitched since Opening Day of last season, has been playing catch but is not close to returning to game action. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 25.
Reynolds standing out with leather
SAN DIEGO -- When it comes to hitting, the 2010 season has not started out the way Mark Reynolds wanted.
Defensively, though, the D-backs' starting third baseman has never been better.
Reynolds came into Saturday night's game hitting just .135 (5-for-37). Three of the five hits have gone for home runs, and he has also drawn six walks to go along with 12 strikeouts.
"I feel great," Reynolds said. "I feel confident. It's not like I'm going 0-for-4 with four punch-outs every game. I feel like I'm putting good at-bats together, I'm just not getting the results. People go through 5-for-30's all the time, just not to start off the season."
To Reynolds' credit, he is not taking his struggles at the plate with him onto the field.
Over a three-day span, Reynolds has made four plays in which he has dove to field a ball and threw the runner out from his knees.
"If I get up and try to take my time and throw it, I'm going to throw it eight rows deep, because I'm thinking about it," Reynolds said. "So I just catch it and throw it. I'm not trying to do it on purpose, I'm just doing what comes natural.
"You can have a bad game hitting like everyone does, but when you play defense, you're out there and expected to make all the plays. That's something you should never take a day off at, is playing defense. I'm just trying not to take my at-bats into the field with me."
Hinch OK with baserunners' aggressiveness
SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs may want to think twice before challenging Padres left fielder Kyle Blanks in the future.
Blanks threw out a pair of baserunners trying to stretch singles into doubles Friday night.
Conor Jackson tested him in the fourth, and while he was initially safe, he overslid the bag and David Eckstein was able to put the tag on him. Then, one inning later, Justin Upton was thrown out.
Despite the outcome of the plays, D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was not upset with the attempts.
"When he's going to his left or going to his right, we talked about challenging Blanks," Hinch said. "Those plays are aggressive. I don't mind those plays. They are momentum swings. If we're safe there, it puts their defense in a bind. But the fact that they were out squashed a little momentum that we could have had. I'll take the aggressiveness."
Blanks is a natural first baseman who is still learning in the outfield. Still, he became the first Padres outfielder to collect two assists in a game since Brian Giles did so exactly five years ago on April 16, 2005, at Dodger Stadium.
"I've had trouble getting something on the ball, and with accuracy. It's nice to see that extra work is paying off," Blanks said.
LaRoche held out for third straight game
SAN DIEGO -- Adam LaRoche made his case to be in the lineup Saturday night, but D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was having none of it.
"I'm not going to ask him to be 100 percent to play, but tonight I'm not going to [play him]," Hinch said.
LaRoche felt some tightness in his right quadriceps muscle during batting practice Wednesday night in Los Angeles and was held out of Thursday's and Friday's games as well.
"It's a little better today," LaRoche said Saturday afternoon. "Unfortunately, they're giving me another day. It makes it that much tougher when we're losing close games and not being out there."
Sitting on the bench is not LaRoche's idea of fun.
"I would be the worst bench player," he said. "It would drive me nuts. I have a lot of respect for those guys."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.