05/06/12 12:49 PM ET
Signs point to D-backs' Roberts heating up
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
The D-backs' third baseman had a pair of hits, including a home run, Saturday night, and in a start Thursday against the Nationals, he was 1-for-3.
Overall, he has four hits in his last 10 at-bats to raise his average from .152 to .184 heading into Sunday's game with the Mets.
The key for Roberts appears to reside more between his ears than in the batter's box.
"He's much more relaxed, and he's not all freaked out because he's not playing every day," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's coming along. My suspicion is he's going to get to the point where I feel comfortable putting him out there much more. This is a good pace for him right now, in my mind."
With Roberts struggling, Gibson has given Cody Ransom some starts at third, and the 36-year-old has produced a .345 batting average.
While he has had more success of late, Roberts said he's not concentrating on that.
"The focus is going to be on just being ready to play the game and not worrying about the outcome," he said. "You just have to trust your ability. That's the main thing from now on. Just trust that I put in the work and trust that things are going to be all right, because I'm not going to hit .150 all year. It will turn around at some point, but when you're in it, it seems like forever."
Putz demonstrates ability to bounce back
NEW YORK -- D-backs right-hander J.J. Putz knows that having a short memory is a requirement for being a successful closer.
Still, Putz could not wait to get back on the mound after blowing his second save of the year Wednesday night in Washington.
Putz got his chance Friday night in the series opener against the Mets and delivered a 1-2-3 inning to pick up his sixth save.
"It's always good," Putz said. "Once you let the team down, you want to get back out there as soon as possible."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson liked what he saw that night.
"Threw the ball good," Gibson said. "Got us out of it. That's what we're looking for. I was happy to see him just back out there. I know he doesn't like what happened the other night in Washington. It was good to get him back out there and to get his sixth save."
Arizona mountain air gets Gibson's mind going
NEW YORK -- With the D-backs at the .500 mark at 14-14 entering Sunday's series finale with the Mets, manager Kirk Gibson is looking for something to spark his team.
It was in mid-May last season that the D-backs took off, winning 17 of 19 at one point to go from fourth place to first place en route to the National League West title.
"We have to find a way -- what's the key for us to catch fire?" Gibson said. "We're right there. I guess that's for me to lay awake tonight and figure out, isn't it?"
Actually, Gibson does not stay in bed for long when his mind starts racing. Instead, he climbs Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"Maybe I'll figure it out at the top of Camelback tomorrow," Gibson said, smiling. "I've had some really good revelations up there."
More than that, though, the exercise he gets going up and down helps keep the stress in check.
"It's just a better environment than sitting in your bed looking at the ceiling," Gibson said. "When that happens, I just get up and go. I can take a nap later. I just power up and back as fast as I can."
Yes, even a hike by himself turns into a competition for the intense skipper.
"At my age, I don't go like I used to, but I go as fast as I can," Gibson said. "I try and run down and see if I can not break my ankle."
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.