4/4/2014 7:49 P.M. ET
Owings comes out swinging after winning job
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
DENVER -- Getting off to a good start is obviously a plus for any player, but it can have an even bigger impact on a rookie.
Shortstop Chris Owings beat out Didi Gregorius for the D-backs' starting shortstop job in a competition that went down to the final day of the spring. In the recent four-game series against the Giants, Owings went 7-for-14.
"I think you want all your players to get comfortable as you go into the season, and for younger guys, it's probably tougher if they're not," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Owings' hot start. "So it is important."
While Owings realized that he had success numbers-wise against the Giants, that was not his main focus.
"For me, I'm just trying to go out and have good at-bats," he said. "Right now, I'm obviously getting good results, but I'm just trying to have good at-bats. I've gotten down 0-2 a few times, but I've just battled and tried to put the ball in play."
Owings has drawn praise from teammates and coaches for the way he has welcomed suggestions.
"He's all ears, he's very engaged, he's very open-minded, he's a sponge," Gibson said. "[He's] real good that way."
Goldschmidt extends hit streak to 26
DENVER -- It took until his final at-bat, but D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt managed to extend his hitting streak to 26 games.
Dating back to Sept. 10 of last year, it is the longest active streak in the big leagues.
In Friday's 12-2 loss to the Rockies, Goldschmidt walked in his first at-bat before being retired in the fourth and sixth innings.
In the eighth against reliever Chad Bettis, Goldschmidt was able to leg out a single. The streak is the second longest in franchise history. Luis Gonzalez hit safely in 30 straight games in 1999.
Positive D-backs not panicking over slow start
DENVER -- As the team bus rolled in from the airport to the hotel here Thursday night, several of the D-backs' players tried to put their 1-5 start, which included dropping three of four to the Giants this week, in perspective.
"They came to our place to start the year and we swept them, and we were up three games on them to start the year and they went on to win the World Series," D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler said, referring to the 2012 season. "So slow starts don't necessarily kill you. There's just got to be a turnaround point, and at the same time, we can't panic. We've just got to go out and stick with the plan. We know there's nothing wrong with the game plan. It's been an issue with execution, and that's a matter of minor adjustments."
The D-backs made a point this spring to focus on preparing themselves mentally for the inevitable slumps and rough patches that come up over the course of a long, grinding baseball season.
Little did they know that their resilience would be tested right out of the gate, but manager Kirk Gibson said he did not feel the need to have a meeting prior to Friday's series opener with the Rockies.
"We had normal meetings," Gibson said. "We could have easily won three out of four against the Giants. Some things didn't go right in situations. We just try and prepare to excel in those situations in this series. I think we've had good game plans. Execution wasn't there with a couple of things."
That's the D-backs' plan and they're sticking to it.
"I've said several times to just stay involved and focus on your approach and the process, and that's what you do unless you think that's wrong. Then you change it," Gibson said. "But I don't think that's been wrong."
D-backs grab outfielder Kieschnick off waivers
DENVER -- The D-backs claimed outfielder Roger Kieschnick off waivers from the Giants on Friday.
Kieschnick was added to Arizona's 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Reno.
To make room on the roster for Kieschnick, left-hander Patrick Corbin was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against a team's 40-man roster.
Kieschnick appeared in 38 games last year for the Giants, hitting .202. He batted .273 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs for Triple-A Fresno.
• After a red hot spring, third baseman Martin Prado was hitting just .120 after the D-backs dropped three of four this week to the Giants, but manager Kirk Gibson wasn't going to take him out of the cleanup spot.
"I'm not going to overthink that," Gibson said. "I put him there for a reason. I believe in him and I want him to know that I do. I feel confident that he's fine. The numbers don't show he's fine, but he's fine. We didn't lose that series because Prado didn't do his job in the four-hole. I think he had good at-bats. They didn't fall for him. Guys made some decent plays on him."
• Gibson said that he has yet to decide who will primarily serve as the team's eighth-inning setup man. Will Harris pitched in the role twice in the Giants series, and he was effective the first time before allowing five runs in the eighth inning on Thursday.
"We're just kind of finding our way into roles," Gibson said. "Hopefully we'll get into a rhythm here. You need your starters to go six innings, for sure. You get them doing that, then it kind of makes it a lot easier to manage your bullpen and give guys more defined roles."
David Hernandez had been pegged to fill the setup role, but he had season-ending Tommy John surgery this week.
• Outfielder Cody Ross went 2-for-2 with an RBI while playing five innings in left field for Triple-A Reno on Thursday night.
It was Ross' first rehab game. He is expected to be with Reno anywhere from seven to 10 days.
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.