04/14/2013 8:13 PM ET
D-backs honor broadcaster Garagiola with ceremony
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The D-backs honored the 58-year broadcasting career of Joe Garagiola Sr. in a special pregame ceremony on Sunday before the club took on the Dodgers at Chase Field. Garagiola, who announced his retirement on Feb. 20, spent 15 seasons as a color analyst for the D-backs.
The ceremony, which lasted about five minutes, included a video tribute to the 87-year-old as well as a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Garagiola then went up to the broadcast booth to work two innings on television for FOX Sports Arizona before signing off the air one last time.
Garagiola spent nine years in the Majors as a catcher with the Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs and New York Giants. At age 29, he retired as a player and turned to broadcasting, calling games for the Cardinals, New York Yankees and California Angels. He also enjoyed an eight-year stint as a panelist on NBC's "Today" (1967-73, 1990-92).
Throughout the game, the television broadcast played tributes from fellow broadcasters who have worked with Garagiola during his career, including Bob Costas, Vin Scully and Thom Brennaman.
Ross makes first start; Hill returns, but exits early
PHOENIX -- A day after the D-backs placed Jason Kubel on the 15-day disabled list, the club got two of its regulars back from injury Sunday against the Dodgers. Aaron Hill, who missed time after being hit on the left hand with a pitch on Tuesday, batted third, while Cody Ross, who began the season on the DL with a strained calf, made his first start in an Arizona uniform batting seventh.
Hill, however, left the game with left wrist soreness in the fourth inning and was replaced by A.J. Pollock.
"He checked a swing in the first inning and hurt it," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We took another X-ray, nothing showed up. We'll give him an MRI tomorrow and go from there.
"[The DL] could be [a possibility]. I'm not worried though. This team is resilient, and we have guys that can step in if Aaron goes down."
Both Hill and Ross came off the bench Saturday late in the game, but Sunday marked their return to the starting lineup.
"I'm glad to be back for sure, I was a little nervous last night," said Ross, who was activated when Kubel went on the DL. "Today I am, too. Every game you get nervous, I think once those nerves go away, it might be time to hang it up"
Ross originally hurt his calf back in Spring Training and hadn't appeared in a Major League game since March 3. He spent the last week and a half on a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno and Class A Visalia, batting 4-for-19 with a double and four RBIs.
"It felt like a bunch of time basically wasted because the main thing you do is rest since you don't want to push it and re-injure it," Ross said. "It was nice though to be able to go to the Minor Leagues, get some at-bats and get in some game situations."
The injury wasn't initially supposed to sideline Ross, who signed a three-year contract with the D-backs in December, for as long as it did, but the 32-year-old thinks the extra time he spent healing will help him stay healthy moving forward.
"That was our thought process, definitely didn't want to rush back," he said. "What comes to mind at first is hurry up and get back, but taking the extra week or so hopefully will pay off long term. So far it has and it feels great."
Gibson yet to decide on DH for Yanks series
PHOENIX -- Because the Yankees waited until Sunday afternoon to announce their starting rotation for the D-backs' upcoming three-game series in the Bronx, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson isn't sure who he'll use as the club's designated hitter for the Interleague set beginning Tuesday.
"We'll figure it out in the next day or so, we have to see who is in their rotation, then we'll make the decision," Gibson said. "We know who we have though. We have some veteran guys off the bench who can do it."
The Yankees will start right-hander Ivan Nova on Tuesday, left-hander CC Sabathia on Wednesday and righty Phil Hughes on Thursday.
One candidate for the job is Eric Hinske, who is the only player on the club's active roster who hasn't started a game so far this season. In making eight pinch-hit appearances entering Sunday, though, the veteran first baseman has collected three hits, including a game-winning home run, and driven in four runs.
"I prepare every day as if I'm in the lineup," Hinske said. "I've just tried to take professional at-bats each time I go up there."
Behind the red-hot Paul Goldschmidt on the depth chart, Hinske hasn't been bothered by the limited number of at-bats, but he is looking forward to getting in the lineup if the club calls on him to be its DH.
"I just want to win, you'll never hear anything out of me, I like my role," he said. "I know you can't take Goldy out, I get that."
Other options for the D-backs in New York include Eric Chavez and Alfredo Marte.
• Hours before first pitch on Sunday, the D-backs gave rookie outfielder Alfredo Marte a bit of a scare in the clubhouse. As part of a routine sweep, a Maricopa county sheriff K9 unit dog approached Marte's locker and alerted his handler of something he smelled. The officer searched through Marte's possessions and eventually came across a pair of shoes with two rolled up wash cloths hid inside them.
The dog barked at the shoes and Marte was then asked if he had even seen them before, to which the outfielder said, "No." It was then when a couple of D-backs teammates came over and informed Marte he had just been pranked. The clubhouse erupted in laughter and the rookie walked away with a sigh of relief.
• Still recovering from a strained oblique that has kept him sidelined since the end of Spring Training, Willie Bloomquist has begun taking "very light swings" off a tee. The D-backs still don't have a timetable for his return, however.
• Class A South Bend right-hander Kyle Schepel threw a seven-inning no-hitter in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader at Lansing. He walked one and struck out nine in his second career Minor League start. The D-backs signed him as a Minor League free agent last September after he went 4-7 with a 3.66 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) with Rockford of the independent Frontier League.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.