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06/07/09 7:30 PM ET
Hinch, Rauch mum on closed-door meeting
D-backs' skipper, righty calling discussion 'internal matter'
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Neither party was saying much one day after D-backs manager A.J. Hinch and right-hander Jon Rauch met immediately following Saturday night's game with the Padres. The clubhouse was closed longer than usual following the game and when reporters were allowed in, Rauch was in Hinch's office with the door closed. "No comment," Rauch said when asked about the meeting. "It was two guys having a conversation." Rauch pitched a scoreless inning in the game, which the D-backs lost, 6-4, to the Padres. "Internal situation that we handle behind closed doors," Hinch said. "It's over with, it wasn't volatile, there wasn't any type of conspiracy, it was just a team issue that I wanted to deal with immediately. It's nothing that needs to be public." When Hinch was asked if Rauch was happy with his role on the team -- the right-hander has pitched mostly during games in which the D-backs have trailed -- he said that was a question best posed to Rauch. "He's pitched well, including last night," Hinch said. "We had some sign issues, he crossed up [catcher Chris Snyder] a couple of times. He's pitched better of late. I'm happy with the way he's thrown the last handful of outings." Rauch has not been scored on in his last five outings spanning six innings. When asked if he was considering using Rauch in games where the team is ahead, given his strong performance of late, Hinch seemed to hint that may have been the subject of the meeting. "If we haven't learned anything over the last few weeks is every out from the sixth inning out has been a grind and has been an important out," said Hinch, who has watched his team blow several leads late in games. "These outs are important, so if anybody construes their role in pitching in those outings ... down by two is important, down by four is important."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.