5/6/2013 11:20 P.M. ET
Gibson, Towers want Kennedy to be more aggressive
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers met with right-hander Ian Kennedy prior to batting practice Monday at Dodger Stadium.
Gibson did not want to get into specifics of what was discussed.
"He's just kind of gotten away from who he is," Gibson said. "We talked to him a little bit today. He wants to do well."
Kennedy allowed five runs on five hits while walking three in 5 2/3 innings against the Padres on Sunday.
Gibson was asked what he meant by Kennedy getting away from who he is.
"Walking guys, not being able to throw the ball where he wants to, not having confidence in his pitches like he has in the past," Gibson said. "He'll get back on track."
Judging by what Towers said, the team would like to see Kennedy be a little more aggressive.
"In '11, he was best when he's got the good fastball location to both sides of the plate," Towers said. "Yesterday, he pitched more away and probably 50 percent of his pitches were offspeed pitches -- and you throw that many of them, they start sitting on it."
In 2011, Kennedy was 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.
Gregorius moved into two-hole, Prado dropped to sixth
LOS ANGELES -- Manager Kirk Gibson said recently that he didn't want to put rookie shortstop Didi Gregorius high in the batting order too soon in his career.
However, with the D-backs' offense struggling to find consistency and Gregorius swinging a hot bat, Gibson moved Gregorius up to the No. 2 spot in the order while sliding Martin Prado, who is off to a slow start offensively, down to sixth.
"I told you I didn't really want to do that, but I just feel the way our offense has been constructed lately we haven't gotten the production, the consistent production," Gibson said. "Little more balance in our lineup between right and left. He's young. It puts a little more pressure on him. We'll see if he can handle it. Prado's been pushing, no doubt about it, so I just moved him down a little bit, try to get him going a little bit."
Gregorius was hitting .433 coming into Monday's game and has played outstanding defense at short while wreaking havoc on the basepaths.
Despite facing a left-handed pitcher, the Dodgers' Chris Capuano, Gibson was confident enough in the lefty-swinging Gregorius to hit him high in the order. Part of the thinking is that the more he sees lefties, the better he will hit them.
"We see him as an everyday player," general manager Kevin Towers said. "If you don't' see [lefties] a lot, you're not going to be comfortable up there. There will be a learning curve and I'm sure there will probably be some struggles, but I think the more he sees them the better off he's going to be."
• Top prospect Tyler Skaggs is off to a slow start at Triple-A Reno. The left-hander is 2-4 with a 6.89 ERA in his first six starts.
"Confidence," Towers said when asked what was the reason for the struggles. "He didn't have a real good spring, and if you don't have a good spring and you've got to get things back on track pitching in the [Pacific Coast League] -- specifically at Reno -- it's hard."
The PCL has long been known as a league that is tough on pitchers given the altitude of some of the parks as well as the configurations of some of the ballparks.
• After putting together a 1.42 ERA in five starts for Double-A Mobile, right-hander Zeke Spruill was promoted to Reno.
In his first start for Reno, he tossed 5 2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run.
"He keeps the ball down, throws strikes, good sinker, good split," Towers said. "I think we're still undecided if he's a starter or a reliever. I think he could do either."
• Heading into Monday's game, the D-backs had played the toughest schedule in the Majors based on opponent's winning percentage.
The D-backs' opponents had a .545 winning percentage, ahead of the Rays (.544) and Cardinals (.540).
"We beat some great teams," Gibson said. "We need to play consistent baseball, execute at all ends -- offensively, defensively, on the bases. We've got to get our mojo back a little bit."
• Gibson is among the 77 players and five coaches who are eligible for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame this year. Gibson was a standout wide receiver at Michigan State University.
"I don't care," Gibson said about the nomination. "I want to win tonight. It's not a goal of mine. I'd rather be a world champion."
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.