7/8/2013 10:23 P.M. ET
D-backs lock in six international prospects
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The D-backs on Monday announced the signings of their first six international free agents since the 2013-14 international signing period began on July 2. Highlighted by top catching prospect Jose Herrera, the class includes five position players and one pitcher, all from either the Dominican Republic or Venezuela.
This is the first year organizations are operating under a new set of guidelines that allows them to work with a base of $700,000, plus a bonus pool made up of four slot values based on their 2012 record. The pools range from just under $4.25 million for the Astros, who had the Majors' lowest winning percentage, to just under $1.15 million for the Nationals, who had the highest winning percentage.
Last year, each club was allotted $2.9 million across the board to spend on the international market.
Combining their base and pool money, the D-backs had $2,355,700 to spend beginning July 2 and through their first six signings, the club has used $1,910,000.
Herrera, a 16-year-old switch-hitter ranked as the seventh-best international prospect and top catcher in this year's class, according to MLB.com, signed for $1,060,000. He hails from Venezuela, just like current backstop Miguel Montero.
The D-backs also inked outfielder Francis Martinez for $350,000, outfielder Jose Lopez for $200,000, infielder Josue Herrera for $150,000, infielder Didimo Bracho for $80,000 and right-hander Argency Hiciana for $70,000.
D-backs not focused on past problems vs. Dodgers
PHOENIX -- Hours before taking the field against the Dodgers for the first time since their heated series in Los Angeles last month, the D-backs acknowledged the importance of the three-game set between the first and second place teams in the division, but they all said they don't anticipate any extracurricular activities taking place.
Back on June 11, three hit batters resulted in two bench-clearing incidents and eight suspensions, three for Arizona.
"There are a lot of people here today, I know it's getting a lot of attention, but I'm not expecting a whole lot other than them coming out hard to play and so are we," said Ian Kennedy, Tuesday's starter who received a 10-game suspension for hitting Zack Greinke with a pitch after warnings were issued.
"I have no bad blood against anybody," said Miguel Montero, who was plunked by Greinke. "I just come out here ready to play and win and do my job. I don't care about any other team."
Montero added that he won't hesitate to call pitches inside during the series this week.
"You have to pitch in," he said. "You're not going to stay away because you're afraid. You have to keep doing your job. If you hit him, you hit him, but you're not trying to."
Echoing his players, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he wants to keep his club's sights on the pennant race rather than past grudges.
"We have to beat them, we have to keep the focus on that," Gibson said. "They're very formidable. We have to play good baseball and try to find a way to beat them. If you get distracted by the sideshow, you inhibit yourself from doing that."
Healing Cahill tweaks shoulder playing catch
PHOENIX -- The D-backs placed starter Trevor Cahill on the 15-day disabled list July 1 with a right hip contusion, but another issue has popped up since the right-hander began playing catch again last week.
"His shoulder didn't feel too good the last time he threw," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I don't have a timetable, we're just trying to keep him throwing on schedule, which he wasn't really able to do his last time. I have no idea why it happened, but I know it wasn't right."
Gibson added that Cahill was scheduled to throw again Monday before the club's series opener vs. the Dodgers to see if the discomfort went away.
After posting a 2.84 ERA in April and a 2.91 ERA in May, Cahill struggled in six June starts, going 0-5 with a 9.85 ERA.
The right-hander was hit on his right hip by a line drive on June 19, but said it was not a factor in his struggles.
Hill back in the swing of things since return from DL
PHOENIX -- After missing more than two months with a broken hand, D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill has picked up right where he left off since coming off the disabled list on June 25.
Before going on the shelf in mid-April, Hill was hitting .306 with five extra-base hits and six RBIs in just 36 at-bats. In his first 13 games back entering Monday, the 31-year-old hasn't lost a beat, batting .326 with 10 runs scored, six doubles and seven RBIs.
"It's getting there, I still don't feel where I'd like to be, but hits are falling," Hill said. "I can't complain with that."
Because the broken bone won't completely heal without surgery, Hill wears padded batting gloves at the plate and will have to decide once the season ends if he wants to undergo surgery to repair it or let it be. He said the hand still bothers him some days, but more often than not, it feels fine.
"We just have to revisit it after the year. It's up to me," Hill said. "We'll do another CT scan and go from there."
• Paul Goldschmidt (21 homers) was not selected to participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday. National League captain David Wright instead chose Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer and Bryce Harper. Gonzalez sustained a sprained finger on Sunday, so Goldschmidt could still end up participating as an injury replacement if the Rockies outfielder drops out.
• D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Monday that Patrick Corbin will either pitch fourth or fifth in the rotation following the All-Star break. The club doesn't expect to have Trevor Cahill or Brandon McCarthy back at least for the first turn in the rotation, so Gibson wants give Corbin some extra rest while also splitting up the three lefties (Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Wade Miley).
• After being designated for assignment last week, Eric Hinske cleared waivers and has been sent to Triple-A Reno.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.