DENVER -- It is hard to imagine Kelly Johnson having a better start to his D-backs career.The second baseman entered play Monday batting .322 with eight doubles, seven homers and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.242. The seven homers, along with his .814 slugging percentage, lead the National League. He's riding a six-game hitting streak, a three-game homer streak and a 16-game streak of reaching base safely. While he's not used to seeing his name atop the home run leaderboard, Johnson is not surprised by the run that he is on. "I don't look at this like 'Oh my God, this is unbelievable,'" Johnson said. "I look at it like this is a very, very small grain of salt because it's so early. Everyone will tell you that it's just the way baseball is sometimes. There are crazy stretches. The thing is, though, if you have some stretches like this in July or August it's not the same. There's plenty of guys that will hit something ridiculous like .460 for two weeks and if it happens then it's just that they are on a hot streak. But because it's so early in the season and that two-week stretch is your stats, it looks different." Johnson was signed by the D-backs when he was non-tendered by the Braves in December.
Upton returns to lineup after scare
DENVER -- Justin Upton was back in the lineup on Monday, one day after having to leave the game when he fouled a ball off his left foot for the second straight day."It was much less severe than I think he thought," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's good sign for us. There wasn't a ton of swelling." Meanwhile, outfielder Gerardo Parra was out of the lineup after he injured the middle finger on his right hand while swinging in the seventh inning Sunday. "He's got a pretty swollen finger," Hinch said. "It's twice the size it normally is, so he has a hard time swinging the bat. He's not going to take batting practice. We'll evaluate as we go how he can help us, when he can get back in, maybe [Tuesday]." Infielder Augie Ojeda, who tweaked his right oblique on Tuesday, said he was finally feeling better. He was not available to play Tuesday or Wednesday last week. "It takes time," he said. "It wasn't bad, just want to stop it before it go too bad. It's close to 100 percent." Outfielder Conor Jackson who is on the DL with a pulled right hamstring did some activity on the field. "Today was the first day that he did a little bit of running on the field, agilities, just active movement on a baseball field as opposed to a pool or a treadmill," Hinch said. "We'll see how he responds to that and continue to inch him forward." The D-backs remain optimistic that he will be able to be activated when eligible on May 4, but they would like to have him play in a couple of rehab games before that. "I think these next three or four days are fairly critical to that time line," Hinch said. "Just to get him to where he doesn't have any reservations and then integrate him back in.
D-backs void Brito's deal after PED suspension
DENVER -- Free-agent outfielder Socrates Brito, who had been signed to a contract by the D-backs this past spring, received a 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.Brito tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. Initially signed by the D-backs last month for $190,000, Brito had his contract voided by the club. "We reached an agreement with Socrates prior to any testing," D-backs assistant GM Peter Woodfork said. "When we were notified of his entry testing results, we immediately voided that agreement. The Diamondbacks obviously agree with Major League Baseball's strict drug policy." The ban will take effect immediately after Brito signs another contract, and it appears that will likely be with the D-backs. "We will attempt to renegotiate new contract terms, but our first priority is to help the player understand the potential harm, policies and repercussions that surround such behavior," Woodfork said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.