PHOENIX -- Rest seems to be doing the trick for D-backs catcher Miguel Montero, who left Monday's game with a strained left groin. The 2011 All-Star said Wednesday he expects to be back in the lineup Friday against the Brewers after the club has an off day Thursday."It feels pretty good right now," Montero said. "I didn't think I had to come out of the game because it felt so much better afterward, but I think it was the right move. [The trainers] worked on it right away and I felt a difference immediately." To help heal the injury, trainers have put Montero through stretching exercises, massages and Pilates. "I did things today that before I got hurt I couldn't do," Montero said. "Butterfly type of thing with my legs, I couldn't do it before I hurt myself. I'm flexible. I might even steal bases now." The plan for Montero on Wednesday was for him to play catch and hit in the cage. He swung the bat on Tuesday to stay loose, but he didn't try to hit any balls. "I'll get a couple swings and see how it feels," he said. "You have to stretch out your back leg when you swing." D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was also optimistic about his catcher's speedy recovery. "He's been getting a lot of treatment, I think another off-day tomorrow will help," Gibson said. "Hopefully it keeps progressing quickly." Montero is batting .255 on the season with two homers and 21 RBIs.
Schmidt relishes latest callup
PHOENIX -- D-backs catcher Konrad Schmidt, recalled from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday, knows his time with the Major League club might be limited with Miguel Montero healing quickly, but that isn't stopping him from enjoying every second.Injuries limited the 27-year-old's 2011 season to only 92 games, but through 31 games for the Aces this season, he's hitting .274 with eight doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs. "Especially after an injury-prone year last year and not getting back, it's reassuring that I can still get here," Schmidt said. "It's just great to be up again." Schmidt played in four games for the D-backs in 2010, totaling eight at-bats with a hit and walk. He has put together a .348 average against lefties in Reno this season, so with left-hander Ted Lilly on the mound Wednesday for the Dodgers, Schmidt was ready for a potential pinch-hitting scenario, even though veteran Henry Blanco got the start behind home plate for the D-backs. "Yeah, absolutely. I would hope so. I'm just ready to play and help the team in whatever way possible," he said. "If they want to give me a chance, I'll be ready." After junior-college ball out of high school, Schmidt played at the University of Arizona in Tucson before transferring to Nevada-Reno in 2007. He hit .349 with eight homers and 47 RBIs for the Wolfpack that season. The current Nevada baseball team attended the D-backs game Tuesday night while in town for the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Although Schmidt didn't get a chance to meet up with his former coach, Gary Powers, who has been at the helm of the program since 1983, he'll visit the team on Thursday. "I'm going to go watch them play tomorrow on the off-day," Schmidt said. "Absolutely I stay in contact with them."
D-backs give Young a breather
PHOENIX -- After playing five straight days since returning from a stint on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, D-backs outfielder Chris Young was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Dodgers."He probably came back a tad too early," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I DH'd him [in Kansas City], then we played him two straight days here. I thought this was the right thing to do with an off-day tomorrow. From not working out and not playing, to playing every day, it's really hard. I wanted to get [Gerardo] Parra in there today for sure." In his first 20 at-bats since the injury, Young has just three hits. Before going on the DL, Young was batting .410 with five homers and 13 RBIs. "This is why I like guys to go down [to the Minors] and play longer," Gibson said. "There's a difference between being in shape and being in playing shape. You can't simulate it. He's close and he's fine. Part of the rehab still continues, you also have to be smart about that. He'll probably be in the lineup on Friday." For his part, Young said his shoulder is holding up fine. "It's all good," Young said. "Gradually keep it coming, have the off-day tomorrow."
The D-backs still aren't ready to proclaim Daniel Hudson as their starter for Sunday's series finale against the Brewers, but Gibson said it's likely."I expect that he will, but we haven't officially announced it," Gibson said. "From everything I've heard and seen, I'd think it'd probably be a go." Hudson has been on the disabled list since April 21 with a right shoulder impingement. Even though D-backs closer J.J. Putz has an ERA of 7.20 through 15 innings this year, Gibson isn't entertaining the thought that the 35-year-old will lose his job anytime soon. "No question, he's the guy; he's our closer," Gibson said. "Nothing has changed. It's not just J.J. We haven't put it together at this point." Equipped with a one-run lead in the ninth on Tuesday, Putz served up a two-run double with two outs to the Dodgers' Ivan De Jesus Jr. for a blown save. The D-backs fell, 8-7. "The big thing last night was just the walks," Gibson said. "Two walks, that hurt. Then he missed with one pitch, and they smacked it." Two days after the D-backs designated third baseman Cody Ransom for assignment to bring up Josh Bell, the Brewers claimed the veteran off waivers on Wednesday. "That's good for him. That's the rules. He's a good professional player. he did well for us," Gibson said. "We decided to do what we did. We lost him. We didn't want to lose him, but we wish him well. He's been around the game a long time. He appreciates the game. We just wish him not to well against us." The D-backs host the Brewers starting Friday for a three-game National League Division Series rematch. Batting .370 this season, including a 4-for-4 night on Tuesday, D-backs first baseman Lyle Overbay is impressing his manager, but Paul Goldschmidt still will continue to see the majority of the time at the position. "I can't see Lyle playing five or six games a week. He's pretty effective the way he is now," Gibson said. "Last night was an exceptional game. He's very good defensively. He helps Goldy out there at first base." Goldschmidt is batting .244 in 2012 with two homers and 16 RBIs.