5/26/2013 4:02 P.M. ET
Harris finds success focusing on quality strikes
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Following a troublesome couple of outings in which he allowed a combined three runs in two innings of work, D-backs reliever Will Harris has bounced back his last two times on the mound, tossing a pair of scoreless frames.
So what has been the difference for the right-hander? Simple, just staying away from the top of the zone.
"The rough outings weren't for lack of throwing strikes, they just weren't quality strikes," Harris said. "I just had to work on getting the balls down. It's baseball -- if you throw strikes and keep the ball down, that'll lead to success.
One of the clean innings came Wednesday at Coors Field against the Rockies, who put him on waivers earlier this year.
"That was fun. I'm familiar with that ballpark and those players," he said. "I have a lot of friends over there. I actually went to dinner with [Rockies third baseman] Nolan Arenado."
Harris, who was called up from Triple-A Reno when J.J. Putz went on the disabled list, has worked five innings for the D-backs so far, allowing the three runs and striking out seven.
Skaggs to get called up to give Kennedy time to heal
PHOENIX -- D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy has a laceration on his right index finger and his next start will be pushed back from Monday to Friday. In his place, the D-backs will call up Tyler Skaggs from Triple-A Reno to start the first game of the split doubleheader with the Rangers while Trevor Cahill will take the mound for the nightcap.
Skaggs, ranked by MLB.com as the club's No. 1 prospect, will be designated as the D-backs' 26th man. Teams are allowed to add a 26th player for doubleheaders, with the stipulation that the player must be returned to the Minors following the second game.
"We considered having [Kennedy] go out and pitch, but the healing probably wasn't where we wanted it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We didn't want to interrupt the healing process. If he broke [the wound] it open again, we'd really be in a bind. We get an extra guy for Monday -- we don't for his next start -- so we decided to take the conservative approach."
By giving Kennedy the extra rest, the D-backs hope he'll be able to avoid a disabled list stint. The 28-year-old suffered the injury on Thursday while performing the seemingly ordinary task of washing dishes at his home.
"There's no cool story to it, it's kind of embarrassing," said Kennedy with a smile. "I was cleaning a knife, doing a nice thing for my wife, and it slipped. It stinks because it's something I usually can control. It doesn't sound really tough that you cut your hand and you can't do your job."
Kennedy actually threw a bullpen session wearing a bandage on Saturday thinking team trainers would super glue the cut together so he could pitch normally Monday, but the club opted to let the wound heal by itself.
"They want to be extra careful because if it does break open again, it might affect the next start and the next start after that," Kennedy said. "So we'll take advantage of doubleheader, call up an extra guy and let me start a little later. It kinda stinks but can't really do anything about it."
As for Skaggs, he began the year competing for the final spot in the D-backs' rotation in Spring Training, but eventually lost out to Patrick Corbin after allowing 16 runs (11 earned) in nine Cactus League innings.
The southpaw continued his struggles at the beginning of the regular season in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but lately Skaggs has been much better. In his last three starts, the 21-year-old allowed a combined six runs over 20 1/3 innings, good enough for a 2.66 ERA. Overall, Skaggs has a 5.23 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings this season.
"He's throwing the ball better," Gibson said. "I can't tell you exactly what the deciding factor was for picking him, but we made the decision as an organization."
Other prospects in contention to get called up included Zeke Spruill, who was pulled from his outing in Reno on Friday after just 40 pitches, and Charles Brewer, who is scheduled to start Sunday for the Aces.
Perhaps working in Skaggs' favor is the fact that he started six games for the D-backs last season, working 29 1/3 big league innings and finishing with a 5.83 ERA. The lefty made his Major League debut on Aug. 22 against the Marlins, the last time Arizona played a doubleheader.
• D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Wade Miley feels fine a day after being struck in the back of the knee with a line drive. The left-hander allowed four straight singles to the Padres after being hit and eventually left the game completing just 3 2/3 innings of work and surrendering seven earned runs.
"He's got five days to get ready for his next start," Gibson said. "He's just not executing his pitches. He's fine health wise. He just needs to execute his pitches better."
• In his second rehab game with Triple-A Reno on Saturday, Willie Bloomquist (oblique) went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.