04/15/10 9:50 PM ET
Benson to get nod for D-backs on Saturday
In need of fifth starter for first time, team will recall righty
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Saturday is the first time this year the D-backs will need a fifth starter due to a couple of days off early in the schedule.
Benson outpitched Billy Buckner and Kevin Mulvey for the spot. Part of it was his performance this spring after being signed midway though camp to a Minor League contract. The other was his one Triple-A start this year when he held Salt Lake to two unearned runs over five innings.
"We know he can handle the big leagues being poised and used to pitching up at this level for so long," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said.
Benson was the first overall pick in the 1996 First-Year Player Draft. Initially selected by the Pirates, Benson has also pitched for the Mets, Orioles and Rangers in parts of eight seasons. He had rotator cuff surgery in 2007 and did not pitch in the big leagues that year or in 2008. Last season he was 1-1 with an 8.46 ERA in eight games (two starts) for the Rangers.
Because he's not on the 40-man roster, the D-backs will need to clear a spot for Benson. One option would be to move Brandon Webb from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list, meaning he could not return until late May.
Given that Webb has still not gotten back up on the mound, Hinch was asked if there was any way he could return before June.
"I don't know," he said. "I think it's getting close. I keep waiting for something to click for him. That's why I'm hesitant to give away the six weeks that it would take to get us to June. I stand behind my thought that we need him to be right when he gets back. I'd rather wait a little bit extra time to get him right so that we have him for the long haul."
Montero undergoes successful surgery
LOS ANGELES -- D-backs catcher Miguel Montero underwent surgery Thursday in Phoenix to repair a partial tear in the meniscus in his right knee.
Montero is expected to be out for four to six weeks.
"Miguel's surgery this morning went very well," said team physician Michael Lee, who performed the surgery. "He will have a follow-up exam in my office tomorrow."
Montero suffered the injury last Saturday when he said he felt "something pop" in his knee while running out a ground ball.
The following morning Montero was diagnosed with the meniscus tear and a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday confirmed the finding.
Chris Snyder will get the majority of the playing time in Montero's absence with John Hester serving as a backup.
D-backs' LaRoche sits with tight quadriceps
LOS ANGELES -- Adam LaRoche was out of the D-backs' lineup for the first time this year Thursday due to tightness in his right quadriceps muscle.
The first baseman said he began to feel some discomfort during batting practice and that it got worse as the game went on.
"I've never had a quad [injury] before so I don't know," LaRoche said. "I'm fortunate to play a position where I don't have to have my legs 100 percent underneath me to be able to get out there, but the way it is right now it would be pretty tough."
Conor Jackson got the start at first in place of LaRoche with Gerardo Parra getting the nod in left field.
LaRoche said he considers his status day-to-day right now.
"As soon as I go to move or run at all is when it starts to bother me," he said. "As long as I can get around at first it doesn't have to be perfect. I'm not that worried about it, I just don't want it to turn into something more than it is right now."
Since starting the year 0-for-13, LaRoche has gone 8-for-17.
D-backs happy to honor Jackie in LA
LOS ANGELES -- Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies are special throughout baseball, but none top the ones at Dodger Stadium.
"It's real cool," D-backs center fielder Chris Young said. "He played for the Dodgers and we'll be here in the middle of everything. It's just something I want to take in when I'm out there on the field and just be proud to be a part of."
Every D-backs player and coach wore No. 42 on Thursday to honor Robinson, who wore the number during his playing days with the Dodgers.
"That adds to it," D-backs right fielder Justin Upton said of being at Dodger Stadium. "But it's an honor in general to be in the big leagues and get to wear his number for a day. It's always special. What Jackie Robinson did for the game, giving us an opportunity to play the game, it's an honor to wear his number."
Dodger legends Willie Davis, Lou Johnson, Tommy Lasorda and Don Newcombe joined former MVP Frank Robinson and former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the pregame ceremonies.
"He had to go through all the tough things that we don't have to go through as much of," Young said. "I think it's deserving that the entire league is wearing No. 42, not just a few guys. I think that shows a lot of respect to his legacy and the impact he had on the game."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.