Hinch has fun at Haren's expense
Skipper keeps pitcher in nine-hole after overnight tinkering
PHOENIX -- Each night following a game, A.J. Hinch clears the electronic lineup board and puts in the next day's starting pitcher.
The pitcher's name is always in the ninth spot in the order.
Following Thursday's game with the Giants, in which San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum hit eighth, though, Hinch listed Dan Haren's name in the eighth spot in the order. But Friday afternoon, when the D-backs' official lineup was posted, Haren's name was back in the familiar ninth spot.
"I put him in the eight-hole yesterday," Hinch said. "I told him I would at least mull it overnight. What I didn't tell him was that I had already made my mind up. I was giving him a hard time."
It's not much of a stretch to envision Haren hitting in a different spot in the order. After all, he came into Friday's start batting .400 with three doubles. His prowess at the plate has emboldened Hinch to use him as a pinch-hitter -- he's 1-for-1 in that role -- but the manager has no plans to hit him eighth, or to let him hit when the team plays Interleague games in American League parks.
"I would think about it in certain circumstances depending on the makeup of your team," Hinch said. "It does give the lineup a little different look. It's one of those things that's innovative and debatable, but I will generally go with the nine-hole."
Overbay visits place where it all began
PHOENIX -- Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay was initially surprised when he got the news last November that he had been dealt to the D-backs in exchange for catcher Chris Snyder.
"Especially because it was so early in the offseason -- it was back in November -- I didn't even know they were talking," Overbay said. "All of a sudden, I get the phone call, and I'm like 'Really, you guys are talking trades already?' That was kind of a shocker."
As it turned out, there was another surprise in store for Overbay. As he was driving to take his physical, he got a call from Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos, telling him the Blue Jays had nixed the trade over concerns about Snyder's surgically-repaired back.
"It [being sent to Arizona] would have been all right, but it worked out differently," Overbay said. "No hard feelings."
Had the trade gone through, it would have been a return to Arizona for Overbay, who was drafted by the D-backs in 1999 and played in the big leagues for them from 2001-2003.
Overbay is batting .200 with four home runs and 17 RBIs through 42 games this season.
Getting to come back with Toronto this weekend is something he relishes.
"It feels awesome," Overbay said. "You forgot how nice it is to come back, you do miss it. Best batter's eye in any ballpark."
PHOENIX -- Left-hander Clay Zavada had Tommy John surgery this week and will miss the rest of the season. Zavada was a big part of the Arizona bullpen in 2009, but struggled during the spring and was sent to Triple-A Reno, where he suffered the injury. Zavada allowed 10 runs and walked 10 batters in three innings for Reno. ... Right-hander Kris Benson will make a rehab start for Triple-A Reno on Monday against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Benson threw three innings in an extended spring training game this past week. D-backs manager A.J. Hinch implied that Benson will need to make another rehab start after this one before being activated. ... Catcher Miguel Montero went through catching drills with his gear on for the first time since having knee surgery in April. ... Ian Kennedy, Rodrigo Lopez and Dan Haren will be the starters in the three-game series with the Rockies, which begins Monday.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.