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07/04/08 9:44 PM ET

Salazar designated for assignment

Romero, Bonifacio recalled from Triple-A

PHOENIX -- The Diamondbacks designated outfielder Jeff Salazar for assignment before Friday night's game against the Padres.

The 27-year-old outfielder was hitting just .202 (20-for-99) with five doubles, a triple, two homers and 10 RBIs this season. In 193 at-bats with the D-backs since last season, Salazar hit .238 as a reserve.

The D-backs have 10 days to either outright, trade or release Salazar, who is out of Minor League options.

"It's tough," said utility infielder Augie Ojeda, whose locker is set up right next to Salazar's. "We lost a good player and a good teammate. We're going to miss him. Hopefully someone picks him up. He's a good ballplayer. It's just one of those things that just happens as part of the business. I wish him the best.

"We see this all the time in this business. I know what he's going through."

The D-backs picked Salazar up off waivers from the Rockies before last season.

"He just really hasn't gotten the amount of at-bats to go up there and have a chance to be productive and that's partly my fault," said D-backs manager Bob Melvin. "The tough part about him is you can't just send him down to get him some consistent at-bats and get him to the point where he could be a productive player for us because he is out of options, so therefore, we were in a position where we had to designate him.

"If he does get claimed, then he's in the big leagues, which is good for him. If not, then hopefully he accepts the assignment and goes to Triple-A and gets some at-bats because he is a guy that has shown that he can be instrumental and can be a productive player for us.

"He's a guy that over the last year-plus has fit in very well for us and therefore it's a difficult one to actually pull the trigger on."

The D-backs also optioned relief pitcher Connor Robertson back down to Tucson. Robertson allowed one run on two hits in four innings in the first Major League action of his career. He was recalled on Tuesday to give the bullpen a breather.

In Salazar's and Robertson's place, the D-backs recalled outfielder Alex Romero and infielder Emilio Bonifacio. The 23-year-old Romero is 8-for-35 with the D-backs this season. Bonifacio was a September callup in 2007, but will be making his season debut with the D-backs.

Bonifacio was hitting .302 with a homer and 10 RBIs for the Sidewinders. He was second in the Pacific Coast League with 110 hits. He adds an element of speed to the D-backs with his 17 stolen bases this season in Triple-A.

Used primarily as a second baseman in 85 games, Melvin said Bonifacio will be used in the outfield as well, giving the team some added depth after Eric Byrnes went down with a torn hamstring.

Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.