8/22/2014 9:29 P.M. ET
Ziegler says lack of command behind road woes
By Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The recent road trip did not treat the D-backs well -- they went 2-8 -- but Brad Ziegler felt the rough stretch a little more acutely than most.
Ziegler's first and final games of the trip went fine, as he combined for 1 2/3 innings with no runs allowed, but in between he had a pair of blown saves and gave up three runs.
"I don't feel like it was a big adjustment," Ziegler said. "The results were better, so it looked better in the linescore."
He admits, however, that in the first of the blown saves, his command was off. He walked two batters in his one inning of work.
"He was trying to throw the ball ... aim it a little bit," manager Kirk Gibson said, adding that Ziegler's mechanics had been off as well.
Ziegler has been one of the D-backs' most dependable relievers since joining the team in 2011, but his struggles date back to before the road trip.
In his last 14 games going back to July 20, Ziegler has a 7.43 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .370 off him, and he has walked seven while striking out eight.
But every player has bad stretches in his career, and Ziegler is no exception, saying he thinks he made better pitches in his last two outings.
"Things in this game even out over the long term," he said. "Over the course of a season or over the course of a career, there's going to be some fluctuation. But over the long haul, you typically end up kind of back in the same place."
Pollock to resume rehab assignment
PHOENIX -- Outfielder A.J. Pollock is expected to restart his rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno on Saturday, the D-backs announced before Friday's game against the Padres.
Pollock, who has been on the disabled list since June 1 with a fractured right hand -- an injury sustained when he was hit by a pitch -- has not played in the Minors since Aug. 8 after struggling through his first six games.
Pollock was hit in the hand in his first rehab game and picked up only two hits in his next five games. Fortunately, the plunking didn't severely re-injure the hand.
"That's probably why I got set back," Pollock said. "I think if I didn't get hit there, I'm pretty sure I would have been up already."
Manager Kirk Gibson said that the pain in Pollock's hand was keeping him from getting to inside pitches and that he was struggling to regain the form that allowed him to win a pair of National League Player of the Week Awards in May.
In the 23 games he played prior to the injury, Pollock hit .379 with a 1.098 OPS.
Pollock is feeling better after taking about two weeks off.
"I feel like I got a lot of pop back in my hand now," he said. "Last time I went to try to go out and play, it just felt like something was off."
In other injury news, shortstop Chris Owings will also pick up his rehab assignment with Reno, starting Friday night.
Owings, who is coming off three games in the Rookie league, has been on the DL since June 29 with a strained left shoulder.
Owings hit .571 in those three games, picking up two RBIs, three walks and five stolen bases.
His injury kept him out longer than expected -- he hasn't played since June 25 -- as the shoulder continued to bother him, but with the hot start to his rehab assignment, it looks as though he may have finally put the injury behind him.
"He's good right now, and hopefully that continues," Gibson said.
Third Goldy 'Bleacher Creature' introduced
PHOENIX -- Due to high demand and in conjunction with Alumni Night on Aug. 30, the D-backs and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt introduced a third, throwback Goldschmidt "Bleacher Creature" doll on Friday.
The doll is decked out in the D-backs' black alternate uniform from 1998 to 2000, and it joins the Bleacher Creatures sporting home whites and the Sedona Red uniform.
Those who make a tax-deductible $44 donation to Goldschmidt's charity, Goldy's Fund 4 Kids, can choose between the three. In addition, they will receiver $10 off a D-backs adjustable cap at the Chase Field Team Shop.
Donations can be made at dbacks.com/goldyfund or at the Chase Field Team Shop. Monies support programs to help families of patients at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.