05/05/12 4:11 PM ET
D-backs see opponents put shift on Kubel
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Not only did the shortstop swing around to second base, he backed up into shallow center at one point.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was asked how he would like Kubel to deal with the shift.
"Whatever he feels comfortable doing," Gibson said. "I don't want it to influence him. I don't want him to do something he's not equipped to do. I just believe that you just stay who you are."
Teams regularly put shifts on former Arizona first baseman Adam LaRoche, and it was suggested to LaRoche that he just simply lay down a bunt to the left side or hit one on the ground that way.
"He said, 'I've tried, I can't do it,'" Gibson said.
Oddly enough, Kubel does hit the ball the opposite way a fair amount of time, but spray charts indicate that when he does go the other way, it's in the air not on the ground.
Gibson recalled a time when he was playing for the Tigers, and the Royals put a shift on for him, and he bunted to third for a base hit.
When he eventually got around to third base, George Brett told him he could bunt all day if he wanted to, because it meant he wasn't going to hit the ball out of the park or into the gaps.
On the defensive side of things, the D-backs do not shift on many players, unless the data is overwhelming -- such as the case with Phillies first baseman Jim Thome.
Gibson gives Roberts nod in shuffled lineup
NEW YORK -- Kirk Gibson surprised some when he submitted a lineup for Saturday's game against the Mets that had Ryan Roberts at third instead of Cody Ransom.
Ransom homered and drove in the go-ahead run in Friday night's 5-4 win and has hit .345 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 29 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A Reno.
Meanwhile, Roberts has struggled, with a .164 average, one homer and 10 RBIs in 73 at-bats.
"Cody and Ryno, just trying to keep Ryno involved," Gibson said. "Keep them both involved, actually."
Gibson was asked if it was difficult to take Ransom out, given the game he had the night before.
"He's on the bench if we need him," Gibson said. "I just don't look at it that way. I think when you make up a lineup, in general, you can kind of be very similar on most days. I think people might perceive these are the best eight guys. The reality of it is I think it's just the opposite. I think the more you mix it up, the stronger your team becomes in the end."
With that in mind, Henry Blanco was behind the plate in place of Miguel Montero.
"I'm just rotating guys," Gibson said. "I mean, I can't play Miggy every day -- it's a long season and we're early in the season."
Gerardo Parra was also out of the lineup, with rookie A.J. Pollock was in his place in center. Pollock has just 25 at-bats since being called up April 18 when outfielder Chris Young got hurt.
"A.J. has to play," Gibson said. "He's a young kid. Ideally, he'd be playing every day for his development."
Bright lights, big city a bit much for Miley
NEW YORK -- Wade Miley stepped out of the team's hotel in Times Square on Friday morning to take his first look at the Big Apple.
It did not last long.
"I went two blocks and came back," Miley said. "There's people everywhere."
Keep in mind that Miley lives in Loranger, La., where the estimated population is just under 6,000. So the number of people walking around Times Square, well, that was pretty overwhelming for him.
"You won't see that many people in my hometown in three weeks," Miley said. "It's a lot of people. Some people like the high-paced lifestyle. I don't. Last night on the bus back -- we couldn't even turn. The crosswalk said 'Stop', but it didn't even matter. It was like a herd of bulls coming through. They weren't stopping. Holy cow."
Miley did not seem intimidated by pitching in New York. The left-hander allowed four runs in the third inning of his start Friday, but did not allow any further damage, lasting six innings.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.