PHOENIX -- Jason Kubel has made a big difference for the D-backs with his play on the field, but his mechanics at the plate appear to have helped catcher Miguel Montero take off offensively.
While Montero's numbers early in the season were respectable, particularly for a catcher, he maintained that he did not feel good at the plate.
"I couldn't find it," Montero said.
It was suggested by the coaching staff that he look at the amount of weight that Kubel keeps on his back foot when starting his swing. That was something that Montero had done for his whole career, but he had lost a little bit of it this year and was "drifting" forward.
"He loads pretty good with his back foot," Montero said of Kubel. "When they mentioned it, it kind of made sense, so in the cage, I started loading and I felt a little more weight on my back foot, and that made my hands a little more free. That's when I started hitting the ball better."
Since making the adjustment during the last homestand, Montero has hit .410 with four homers and 14 RBIs. His discipline at the plate has improved as well as he's drawn nine walks and fanned just four times.
"I'm not swinging at many bad pitches," Montero said. "And I'm getting in a good count to hit, too."
With Albers' arrival, D-backs option Bergesen
PHOENIX -- Reliever Matt Albers reported to the D-backs on Thursday in Philadelphia, and the club made room for him by optioning reliever Brad Bergesen to Triple-A Reno.
Albers was acquired along with outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Craig Breslow just prior to the Trade Deadline.
The D-backs assigned Podsednik to Triple-A Reno, but the veteran declined to accept the assignment, so he was given his release.
D-backs to comb waiver wire for potential moves
PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers was pleased with the additions of third baseman Chris Johnson and reliever Matt Albers, but he did not rule out the possibility of further deals.
Players traded after July 31 must clear waivers, but many do and trades are still made. For example, last year, the D-backs acquired second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop John McDonald after July 31 and both played big roles in the D-backs winning the National League West.
Towers said he expects even more trade activity this year after the Deadline than in the past because of the addition of a second Wild Card team as well as the lack of Draft compensation picks for some players.
"I think you'll see probably some decent players out there that can still be difference-makers," Towers said. "We'll continue to look at the waiver wire, and if there's ways to add, we will."
With the waiver wire working in reverse order in the standings, the fact that the D-backs currently sit in third place in the NL West is actually a benefit.
"Of the contending-type clubs, we're probably getting first crack of all the buyers, so we're probably in better positions than others," Towers said.