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09/08/10 12:29 AM ET

D-backs relaxing Kennedy's innings limit

PHOENIX -- The D-backs had intended to limit Ian Kennedy's innings to around 180 or so this season. However, with the way Kennedy is throwing the ball right now, those plans have changed.

"Right now he's probably feeling as good as he has all year," D-backs interim manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's been efficient, his mechanics are really good and as long as he continues to be this way, we won't shut him down. If he starts feeling a little differently, tired, his mechanics aren't there, there's too much that can go wrong. If he starts to labor a little bit, we won't push that. We're all on the same page with that."

Kennedy has a 2.12 ERA over his last five starts and has worked with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. to throw less in between starts in an attempt to keep him fresh.

Due to surgery to deal with an aneurism under his right arm last year, Kennedy threw just 22 2/3 Minor League innings in 2009, one in the Majors and 29 2/3 in the Arizona Fall League. His career high for innings in a season came in 2007 when he threw a combined 146 1/3 for three Minor League teams.

"I'm going to be honest with Stott," Kennedy said. "If something doesn't feel right or I don't have the same life on my pitches or if I feel sore or tired, I will say something. Right now, though, everything is feeling really good and I just want to keep it going."

D-backs reassured by Upton's shoulder MRI

PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder Justin Upton, bothered for more than a week with irritation in his left shoulder, had an MRI taken Tuesday morning, which interim general manager Jerry Dipoto said showed no serious injury.

"The MRI looked good and Justin is suffering from a shoulder strain that dates back to [2006] and it's no better or no worse than it was at that point in time," Dipoto said. "Right now it's just a strain, his status is day-to-day and we'll play it by ear, but there is no reason to believe there is anything about this that is long term."

Upton was removed from the Aug. 30 game following a seventh-inning swing that he said caused the irritation in his shoulder. At the time, both Upton and the club said it was something he had experienced both in 2006 and again in 2009 and it would likely be a day or two before he returned.

However, Tuesday marked the seventh game in which he was out of the lineup.

"We're going to give him every opportunity to heal," Dipoto said. "It's just something that we'll just have to combat as it arises, but I don't know that there's anything you can do other than sticking with a strength program that he is currently on."

The D-backs called up outfielder Cole Gillespie from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday to provide some depth.

"We got him up here as protection," D-backs interim manager Kirk Gibson said. "Cole is part of our future here and we want to give him a chance to show what he can do."

Gillespie is nursing an injury, having strained his right quad not too long ago.

"It's lingered a little bit," Gillespie said. "I can still play, though. I don't know how many at-bats I'm going to get, but my job is to be ready when they need me."

Mark Reynolds was out of the lineup for the second straight game Tuesday as he tries to get past a bone bruise just below his right thumb.

While Reynolds did not start Monday, Gibson did use him as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement. On the second pitch Reynolds saw, he got jammed and appeared to be in obvious pain.

"He's feeling better," Gibson said. "Something tells me I shouldn't play him or let him talk me into it. [Bone bruises] you never know, they could come quick. I think he's got some gadgets in his glove to protect him. Hopefully they will work."

Webb's next session to be out of view

PHOENIX -- Brandon Webb will face hitters again Wednesday, but the D-backs right-hander will do it in the batting cage rather than on the field.

Webb, who is recovering from shoulder surgery performed last August, has not pitched in a game since Opening Day of 2009. He has faced hitters twice in simulated games over the past 10 days.

The first time he did so, Aug. 28 in San Francisco, he threw 52 pitches and was encouraged.

The second time he threw, last Friday at Chase Field, he threw just 35 pitches and said afterward that he was as wild as he's ever been and seemed discouraged.

Webb threw a bullpen session on flat ground Tuesday, said he made some progress mechanically and is hoping for another breakthrough when he throws Wednesday.

"Hopefully I'll do a little bit better control-wise and mechanical-wise, but we'll see," Webb said. "I'll be able to work on some mechanical things. I feel like I figured some stuff out yesterday throwing and threw a flat ground today and it felt good, so hopefully I can carry that over into tomorrow."

Why the batting cage instead of on the field?

"It's a big production out there," Webb said, referring to the attention his sessions draw. "I'd rather keep it more like a bullpen with a hitter in there, basically."

Webb is still hopeful that he will be able to pitch a few innings of relief before the season is over.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.