© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
04/28/07 9:27 PM ET
Notes: Drew sits with groin injury
Callaspo impressing; Melvin preaches patience with Johnson
By Jason Grey / Special to MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Just as Stephen Drew's bat is starting to heat up, a minor injury problem cropped up in Friday night's game. Drew was out of the starting lineup Saturday night with what manager Bob Melvin called a "little bit of a groin pull" on the left side. Melvin indicated that the injury appears minor and Drew may be able to get back in there for Sunday afternoon's game. "It's not bad, but with a day game [Sunday], we wanted to give him a day," said the manager. Drew has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, bating .314 with five extra-base hits and eight RBIs in that stretch. The shortstop started feeling it running the bases on his two-run double that provided the winning runs for the D-backs on Friday, and "he tweaked it a little," according to Melvin, when he was caught in a rundown between second and third at the end of the play. "When I was going to third, I kind of slammed on the brakes and felt it," said Drew. "We'll see how the night goes with all the treatment we're doing." "We're trying to be proactive and avoid aggravating it and creating problems down the road," said Melvin. Drew's hot streak has brought his average up to .250. "When you get some results, you start to relax a bit," said Melvin. "It's tough when you start poorly because it's an uphill battle. This guy's going to be an elite player; he has the total game." Doing it in other ways: Although Alberto Callaspo is hitting .226 to open the season, he drew praise from Melvin for his other contributions. Callaspo has been asked to man three infield positions and also see time in the outfield. He made some key defensive plays at third in Friday night's win. "His awareness is outstanding," said Melvin. "Third is probably his least comfortable position in the infield and it looks like he's played it all of his life." Melvin compared Callaspo to former D-backs infielder Craig Counsell. "He has great instincts for the game," said the manager. "You have to give it up to him. When he's not doing it offensively, he maintains his focus and intensity defensively. To come to the big-league level [as a rookie] and do it the way he has is pretty impressive." Ups and downs: At least in the early part of the season, the D-backs have been a streaky team. They have had stretches where they have won six straight, lost five straight and have won their last three games entering Saturday night's contest. "I think it's too early to tell [if we're a streaky team]," said Melvin. "You'd like to see some more consistency, even though a win's a win. The real good teams are able to keep their losing streaks to a minimum. "If you continue to execute, even when you're not swinging the bat, you eke out or steal a game and keep those streaks to a minimum. We need to do a better job of executing." Better results ahead: Melvin tried to manage expectations for Randy Johnson's second start of the season Sunday afternoon, stressing that the Big Unit's stamina and location will continue to progress. "It might take a few turns for him to get back to the Randy we expect," said Melvin. "We can up the pitch count [Sunday], and I think his command will be better. He hit a bit of a wall in the fifth last time." Though Melvin has not said anything about Robby Hammock being a personal catcher for Johnson, he did say "there's a chance" that the veteran would be behind the plate Sunday to catch the left-hander. League leaders: Edgar Gonzalez has given up just 1.8 walks per nine innings, a mark that is the eighth best in the National League, but he also entered Saturday's game second in homers allowed with six. Eric Byrnes has been the hardest hitter to double up this season as he has yet to ground into a twin-killing in 96 at-bats. Drew has also not been doubled up this season in 84 at-bats to rank in the top 10 in the league. Up next: The D-backs and Giants conclude this three-game series with a Sunday afternoon contest at Chase Field. Johnson will face San Francisco's Matt Morris. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. MST.
Jason Grey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.