04/13/2013 1:25 AM ET
Kennedy looking forward to reunion in Bronx
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy does not get many autographs from opposing players.
"I probably should get more," he said.
But when the D-backs travel to New York next week, there are three autographs he will be in search of, and on Friday he was unpacking the jerseys he planned on having signed: Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte.
"Those are three guys, I think, are going to be in the Hall of Fame and I got to play with them," said Kennedy, who was the Yankees' first pick in the 2006 Draft and appeared in big league games for them in 2006-08. "Those guys are jersey worthy. I think they're Hall of Famers."
All three had an impact to varying degrees on Kennedy's career. As a starting pitcher, Kennedy did not have a lot of interaction with Rivera, but he learned a lot by watching the veteran go about his business.
"Just how he prepared and how he pitched," Kennedy said. "People knew he was going to throw a cutter and he still did, and to just have that command and have that just confidence really showed a lot. I just thought that was really cool to take that demeanor on the mound, how he does believe in himself."
Jeter consoled Kennedy after he was sent down to the Minor Leagues for the first time.
"He called me over to his locker and talked to me," Kennedy said. "The gist of it was, 'Everybody has been sent down before,' and he was naming everyone in the locker room. 'We've all done it, we've all been sent down,' and he just told me, 'Just know you belong here.' It was really cool to hear that from Derek Jeter."
Kennedy was probably the closest to Pettitte, who shared his deep Christian faith.
"Andy kind of took me under his wing in 2008 when I was struggling," Kennedy said. "We went to lunch on the road, I tried hanging out with him as much as I could because I really looked up to him. Like, spiritually, I felt like he was a big brother to me, too."
Kubel, Hill out of D-backs lineup for opener
PHOENIX -- Injury updates continue to be a part of D-backs manager Kirk Gibson's daily media briefing.
Outfielder Cody Ross, who is on the disabled list with a strained left calf, could return when the team opens a three-game series against the Yankees on Tuesday, but he will need to push himself a little more, physically, first.
Before going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Triple-A Reno on Friday, Ross had only played one full nine-inning game in the field during his Minor League rehab assignment.
"Just about making sure that he's healthy before we make a move with somebody," Gibson said.
Outfielder Jason Kubel was out of the lineup Friday for the second straight game.
Kubel said his left quad has been tight since he stepped wrong while rounding third as he scored from second on a passed ball in Milwaukee last weekend. Kubel said the leg is getting better.
"I think he's OK," Gibson said. "I think he's probably not 100 percent, but that's part of being a big leaguer."
Second baseman Aaron Hill was hit on the top of his left hand by a James McDonald pitch Tuesday night and was out of the lineup Wednesday. At the time, he said he hoped he would be back in there Friday and he was actually in the initial lineup before being scratched closer to game time.
The team said that Hill was scratched for "precautionary reasons" related to the hand.
• The D-backs have only attempted four stolen bases this year, with two successful swipes. One of the caught stealings was on a missed hit-and-run sign and the other was due to "mis-execution," according to Gibson.
Last year, it seemed, the D-backs were far more aggressive and ran into too many outs trying to steal.
"Teams are getting pretty good at preventing that," Gibson said of stolen bases. "They do a good job of that and we don't have what I would call 'burners,' so we'll take the opportunities when they're available. We've been pretty productive scoring runs, so I think we've probably been somewhat subdued with that."
• Pettitte will not start Sunday as scheduled due to back spasms, making it likely he will start against the D-backs when they travel to New York for a three-game series that starts Tuesday.