PHOENIX -- Interim manager Kirk Gibson has refrained from picking a closer since taking over July 2, indicating in the weeks since only that he likes to have options.
Gibson now has one more to choose from.
Right-hander Juan Gutierrez, who converted both of his July save opportunities after a nightmarish start, was activated off of the 15-day disabled list in advance of Wednesday's game vs. the Reds.
Gutierrez, who was placed on the DL on Aug. 3 with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, threw a simulated game on Saturday in Washington and had an issue-free 15-pitch session on Tuesday.
"I don't feel any [pain] throwing the ball," Gutierrez said. "I feel I can go out there in whatever role they got for me right now."
And Gibson, who has used right-handers Aaron Heilman and, more recently, rookie Sam Demel in ninth-inning save situations, was coy about what role that would be.
"We'll fit him in there where he has the best chance to get outs," Gibson said.
To pave the way for Gutierrez's return to the 25-man roster, the team optioned righty Rafael Rodriguez to Triple-A Reno. Rodriguez, one of four Angels players sent southward in the July 25 trade of Dan Haren, yielded two runs in 2 2/3 innings since being recalled on Aug. 4. He wasn't available to reporters on Wednesday.
"He's got good stuff," Gibson said. "It's just a matter of consistency for him. He's got pretty much contact stuff. He's got good movement on his pitches."
Gibson forced to break up lefties in lineup
PHOENIX -- Reds reliever Arthur Rhodes indirectly helped decide the D-backs' batting order for the teams' game on Wednesday night.
Well, Rhodes and the Nationals' Sean Burnett, both left-handed specialists who have entered games late against the D-backs and had success.
"They bring their lefties in and, the way I had my lineup set up the other times, they just plow through our lefties," interim manager Kirk Gibson said. "Previous to that, we've had great success against lefties, but we've been struggling a little bit lately."
Burnett entered Sunday's eighth inning -- the D-backs down, 4-3 -- and faced three left-handed hitters in a span of four batters, allowing a harmless single and nothing else.
Rhodes entered Tuesday's eighth inning -- the D-backs down, 3-2, with a runner on second base and one out -- and struck out lefties Adam LaRoche and Miguel Montero on 10 pitches.
To combat the development, Gibson wrote out his lineup card on Wednesday so that, with the exception of Miguel Montero and Gerard Parra in the seventh and eighth slots, each left-handed hitter is followed by a right-handed one.
As part of the alterations, leadoff man Chris Young (right-handed) became the cleanup man, regular Nos. 2 and 3 batters Kelly Johnson (left) and Justin Upton (right) swapped positions, and shortstop Stephen Drew (left), who had been batting seventh, assumed Young's previous spot atop the order.
Gibson said he even considered inserting Upton into the top slot, seeing as the right fielder had just two hits in his previous 34 at-bats (.059) and was in dire need of something, anything new.
"Getting him out of the three hole -- he tends to put a lot of pressure on himself," Gibson said. "His big brothers are behind him now."
Homers have hurt Lopez during slump
PHOENIX -- Chicks dig the long ball. Rodrigo Lopez does not.
The D-backs starting pitcher allowed two more home runs -- and has now given up a Major League-high 30 through 25 starts -- in Arizona's 11-7 loss to the Reds on Wednesday night at Chase Field.
Lopez (5-10) was pulled from the game after having thrown just 72 pitches through five innings. He didn't figure into the decision and hasn't won in his last seven tries.
It's only reasonable to blame the dinger for the drought. Even though 16 of homers allowed were of the solo variety, they've still managed to alter the outcome of his games.
Take Wednesday as an example: With the score tied at 1, he yielded Jim Edmond's opposite-field shot in the third before Jay Bruce took him deep in the fourth.
Lopez, who has said that pitching away from contact doesn't jibe with his need to be aggressive in the strike zone, noted that Bruce's deep shot came on a low-and-away changeup.
"I think that was a good pitch," Lopez said. "He just got a good piece of it and hit it out of the park."
Rehabbing D-backs reliever Leo Rosales (stress fracture in right foot) tossed a scoreless inning for Triple-A Reno on Tuesday, his first game since April 28. Rosales previously told said that he would likely spend at least two weeks with the D-backs' Minor League affiliate. ... 620 KTAR Sports reported Wednesday that D-backs first baseman Adam LaRoche has cleared revocable waivers and can thus be dealt to any Major League club. Trades can be made after Aug. 31, though a player must be added before that date to be eligible for the postseason. ... Hitting coach Jack Howell, whom interim manager Kirk Gibson has called the "weirdest guy you would ever meet," celebrated his 49th birthday at Chase Field on Wednesday. ... The team announced Wednesday that it will sell 2,000 autographed Luis Gonzalez bobbleheads during Friday's game broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona. The $100,000 or so raised from their sale will benefit Going Gonzo for Kids and the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix. The bobbleheads can be purchased starting at 6 p.m. MST on Friday by phoning 602-462-3899 or 800-952-5334.
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.