6/16/2013 5:49 P.M. ET
D-backs' high-contact hitters bring mixed results
By Jamal Collier / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs offense is swinging and missing less and putting the ball in play more, which is something D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is happy about.
However, the D-backs find themselves hitting into more double plays. Entering play Sunday, Arizona has grounded into 67 double plays, the second most in the Majors this season trailing the Angels' 68.
There are some positives to that number. It means the club is getting more runners on base, and the D-backs are hitting the ball hard, resulting in the hard grounder it usually takes to turn a double play.
"Some of it may be a bad approach, but its probably a mixture of things," Gibson said.
Gibson has thought of solutions to the problem, including possibly starting more runners.
"We make more contact," he said. "Some teams, they pull off the ball more and they don't hit the ball, and we do, and our guys stay on the ball."
But Gibson would rather take his chances with the D-backs putting more balls in play, even if it costs his team some double plays.
"I think we're kind of building a little bit more on contact than we have been in the past," Gibson said.
Montero feels like he's starting to heat up
SAN DIEGO -- After a two-run home run on Saturday against the Padres, D-backs catcher Miguel Montero feels like he is finally starting to get into a groove at the plate.
"I feel pretty good at the plate and feel more comfortable," Montero said after going 2-for-3 on Saturday. "I'm seeing the ball better. Obviously, you can see I'm hitting the ball better."
He hit fourth in the lineup on Sunday, and entered the game with 10 hits in his last 26 at-bats.
He got off to a slow start, but his recent streak has his batting average at .221 on the year with four home runs and 22 RBIs.
"He's swinging the bat good. He's been a bright spot for us this week," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Finally looks like he's getting going."
McCarthy's injured shoulder continues to progress
SAN DIEGO -- Brandon McCarthy is taking the next step in his recovery from right shoulder inflammation that landed him on the 15-day disabled list on June 2.
McCarthy will resume throwing exercises at 90 feet when the team returns to Chase Field on Monday. He had been throwing at 75 feet on flat ground last week.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said McCarthy's shoulder is feeling good. Some of the activities McCarthy will work on include a light game of catch, postural exercises, lower body workouts and therapy treatments.
"[McCarthy is] pretty anxious about throwing as best I could see," Gibson said.
The 29-year-old right-hander is 2-4 with a 5.00 ERA in 11 starts this season and has been placed on the disabled list in each of the past five seasons.
• Injured D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill was 1-for-4 and struck out twice before leaving in the seventh inning on Saturday during his first rehab game with Triple-A Reno. Hill is expected to be in the lineup again on Sunday before taking Monday off. Hill has been on the disabled list since April 15 with a slight fracture in his left hand.
"His timing is a little bit off," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, who spoke to Hill by phone after the game. "He's early on off-speed stuff…says there's no pain."
• The D-backs are expected to make a decision on a starting pitcher for Tuesday's game against the Marlins by Monday. Gibson wanted to wait to see how taxed his team's bullpen would be after this weekend's series with the Padres before deciding if it would be necessary to recall someone from the Minors or use someone from the bullpen.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.