04/16/2013 7:10 PM ET
Versatility in field helps D-backs weather injuries
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Throughout the offseason and Spring Training, the D-backs boasted of the depth and flexibility of their roster.
With the injury bug hitting the club hard early in the season, that depth and flexibility will come in handy.
Already without the services of outfielders Adam Eaton and Jason Kubel, the D-backs suffered another blow on Tuesday, when Aaron Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left hand.
Martin Prado, who has already played second base, shortstop, third and left field for the D-backs this year, got the start at second in Hill's place on Tuesday night against the Yankees.
Matchups are likely to determine who will fill in for Hill going forward. Eric Chavez started at third on Tuesday, but given his age and injury history, the team will be careful not to play him too many days in a row. That means Prado probably won't play every day at second.
Cliff Pennington, who has been the D-backs' primary shortstop, will see some action at second, a position he played for the A's down the stretch last year. When he does, Didi Gregorius will likely start at shortstop.
"We're able to handle it, where a year ago, we probably wouldn't be in this situation," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "What it's going to basically do is provide opportunities for others. So far, we've handled it fairly well."
So Prado, Pennington and Josh Wilson will likely see time at second, while Chavez will play some third and Gregorius will man shortstop.
"We have been so far," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of his team's ability to keep rolling along despite the injuries. "But you don't know how many we can sustain."
Broken hand sends Hill to DL; Didi activated
NEW YORK -- The D-backs placed second baseman Aaron Hill on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a surface fracture of his left hand that is expected to keep him out of action for four to six weeks.
Didi Gregorius, who had been on the DL with a right elbow strain, was activated to take Hill's place on the roster, while Martin Prado moved from third base to second.
Hill was initially hit on the left hand by a James McDonald pitch last Tuesday. Initial X-rays, as well as a second set taken later in the week, showed no break, and he sat out until pinch-hitting -- and hitting a double -- on Saturday against the Dodgers.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said that Hill told him on Sunday that the hand felt better and that he could play, but when Hill checked his swing in his first at-bat of that game, he felt a sharp pain.
An MRI exam was taken at that point, again revealing no problems, but a CT scan ultimately revealed the break.
"It doesn't require surgery; it should heal up nicely," Gibson said. "We hate to lose him."
Gregorius was acquired by the D-backs in a three-team trade that sent former top prospect Trevor Bauer to Cleveland. Gregorius felt pain in his throwing elbow a couple of weeks after the December trade, and the team shut him down from throwing.
The D-backs were extremely cautious with Gregorius and did not allow him to start throwing until March 2; he did not start throwing across the diamond when fielding ground balls until later in the month. Gregorius played nine innings for Triple-A Reno on Monday, the first time he had played in the field all season. Prior to that, he had served only as the designated hitter.
"He's been throwing a ton," Gibson said. "He's probably got 100 at-bats, including Spring Training. He's ready."
Attacks stun D-backs familiar with Boston
NEW YORK -- D-backs right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy was walking around New York City during Monday's off-day, enjoying the sights, when he got a call from his wife, Allison, who told him about the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.
A father of two, Kennedy was mortified.
"It makes you wonder what goes through people's minds when they do these things," Kennedy said. "All I could think about, being a dad every time something like this happens, it changes my view now. My thoughts and prayers are really, really with them. Allison and I prayed for them. It was all we could do."
D-backs outfielder Cody Ross played for the Red Sox in 2012 and lived in an apartment near where the explosions occurred.
"Obviously, my heart goes out to all of the people who were affected," Ross said. "You never want to see that. Having played there and living right down the street from where it happened and having a lot of friends that lived there, it kind of hit close to home. I don't really know what to think of it. I was in shock, actually."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson struggled to find the right words to describe his emotions.
"I'm speechless, to be honest with you," Gibson said. "We all have different emotions. First of all, we're sorry and there's sorrow. There's a part of you that wants to be angry about it and a part of you that wonders why."
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.