8/23/2013 11:53 P.M. ET
D-backs still happy to have Hill two years later
By Michael Radano / Special to MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Friday marked the two-year anniversary of the trade that brought Aaron Hill and John McDonald to the D-backs from the Blue Jays for Kelly Johnson, and by all accounts, the move has been more than Arizona could have asked for.
Granted, McDonald is now with the Phillies -- the D-backs' opponent on Friday -- but the key to the story is Hill. When the trade happened, Hill came over hitting just .225 in 104 games with six home runs. Almost immediately, the change in scenery benefited the second baseman, who hit .315 in 33 games with Arizona that season.
"I told him to come over and have fun," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said on Friday. "We believe in you, that's why we got you guys."
In the 247 games Hill has played since the trade, he has hit .306 with 37 home runs and 135 RBIs. It's easy to see that this was one of those trades that came at the perfect time for the right person.
"Things can go stale, and then you go somewhere and all of a sudden you are in a race," Gibson said. "You're with a new team and you're a good fit. He came over with Johnny Mac, who's basically his big brother or his dad or his grandfather, whatever. I knew Johnny Mac from Detroit. It was a good situation and he obviously got comfortable."
Hill entered the game having hit safely in 14 of 15 games, in which he had a .397 average (25-for-63) with five doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs.
Putz placed on 15-day DL with dislocated pinkie
PHILADELPHIA -- The D-backs' bullpen took a hit on Friday night as veteran reliever J.J. Putz dislocated his right pinkie and is headed for the 15-day disabled list. The club recalled right-handed pitcher Chaz Roe from Triple-A Reno on Saturday.
Putz entered Friday's 4-3 loss to the Phillies in the seventh, and with two outs, Kevin Frandsen hit a ball back up the middle that Putz tried to barehand. The ball went to shortstop Cliff Pennington, who threw Frandsen out at first, but Putz suffered a laceration as well as a dislocation of his finger.
In 35 appearances this season, Putz is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA and six saves in 11 opportunities. A trip to the 15-day DL earlier this season for an inflamed elbow came at a time the D-backs' bullpen was in flux, but the veteran closer had since settled into a role late in games as the bullpen solidified.
Gibson likes what Eaton brings to two-hole
PHILADELPHIA -- Adam Eaton has shown the qualities to be a good fit in the two-hole in D-backs manager Kirk Gibson's lineup this year. While Martin Prado has also filled the spot, the key to Eaton's success has been his ability to set the table for the rest of the lineup, and in particular Paul Goldschmidt.
Eaton, who has led off 17 times and was hitting in the two-hole for the seventh time this season in Friday's game, hit just .240 in his previous six games, but that only tells part of the story.
"He's the kind of guy that scraps," Gibson said. "He'll pull a ball in the hole, very good bunter. I try to get guys in the lineups that are disruptive ahead of the three, four and five guys. That's why I put him in that spot."
As always, the biggest factor is the lineup as a whole, and not just the spot Eaton takes up.
"It depends on who else is in our lineup," said Gibson, who had Prado hitting in the cleanup spot on Friday. "It does protect him in the lineup. He's swinging fine off of lefties, but [opponents may] burn a lefty with [Goldschmidt] behind him. Same with [Cliff Pennington ] down there [at seven], most people will throw a lefty against him, but he's better from his left side, and they'll burn a lefty for one guy."
• Despite hinting at a change in the rotation concerning Brandon McCarthy (2-8, 5.44 ERA) on Thursday, Gibson said there would be no change and McCarthy would go on Monday against San Diego.
• The D-backs expect to have Miguel Montero (lower back strain) back when they return home. Gibson felt that even if Montero is ready now, a cross-country trip for two games coming off a back injury made little sense.
Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.