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Postby bell » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:50 pm

East Valley Tribune wrote:COLBRUNN CLEARED
Greg Colbrunn, reacquired last month in a trade with Seattle, has been cleared for all baseball activity by hand specialist Don Sheridan, trainer Paul Lessard said. Colbrunn had two operations on his right wrist last year, both by Sheridan.

Also, Luis Gonzalez, who will attempt to play with a moderate ligament tear in his right elbow, has begun taking batting practice and is throwing 90 feet, although not at full effort.

SHORT HOPS
William Juarez, a 22-yearold right-hander who pitched last year for short-season Class A Yakima, threw a seven-inning no-hitter Tuesday for Chinandega of the Nicaraguan League. Juarez struck out 14, including eight straight and 10 of the final 12 he faced.

Elsewhere in winter ball, Edgar Gonzalez and Elmer Dessens are pitching for Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League playoffs. Gonzalez pitched six scoreless innings in his first postseason outing after having a 2.50 ERA in four regularseason starts and Dessens gave up three runs in 6 1 /3 innings in a playoff start.

Prospect Adriano Rosario was eighth in the Dominican League with a 2.93 ERA and has a 0.84 ERA in two playoff outings.
http://eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=15859
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Postby wrveres » Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:39 pm

bell wrote:
East Valley Tribune wrote:COLBRUNN CLEARED
Greg Colbrunn, reacquired last month in a trade with Seattle, has been cleared for all baseball activity by hand specialist Don Sheridan, trainer Paul Lessard said. Colbrunn had two operations on his right wrist last year, both by Sheridan.

Also, Luis Gonzalez, who will attempt to play with a moderate ligament tear in his right elbow, has begun taking batting practice and is throwing 90 feet, although not at full effort.

SHORT HOPS
William Juarez, a 22-yearold right-hander who pitched last year for short-season Class A Yakima, threw a seven-inning no-hitter Tuesday for Chinandega of the Nicaraguan League. Juarez struck out 14, including eight straight and 10 of the final 12 he faced.

Elsewhere in winter ball, Edgar Gonzalez and Elmer Dessens are pitching for Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League playoffs. Gonzalez pitched six scoreless innings in his first postseason outing after having a 2.50 ERA in four regularseason starts and Dessens gave up three runs in 6 1 /3 innings in a playoff start.

Prospect Adriano Rosario was eighth in the Dominican League with a 2.93 ERA and has a 0.84 ERA in two playoff outings.
http://eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=15859


I'd love to see Edgar get his shot this season. ;-D
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Postby bell » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:53 am

For anyone considering drafting Robby Hammock:

Arizona Republic wrote:Projected starting catcher Robby Hammock, who has been training at Athletes' Performance Institute in Tempe, reportedly has added 11 pounds of muscle and weighs 186 pounds.
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Postby Madison » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:04 am

bell wrote:For anyone considering drafting Robby Hammock:

Arizona Republic wrote:Projected starting catcher Robby Hammock, who has been training at Athletes' Performance Institute in Tempe, reportedly has added 11 pounds of muscle and weighs 186 pounds.


A little extra pop never hurts :-) . Thanks for the update Bell. ;-D Hammock got my attention toward the end of last year. :-)
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Postby bell » Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:19 am

Luis Gonzalez

MLB.com wrote:PHOENIX -- When you're the head athletic trainer for a Major League Baseball team, there's no such thing as an offseason.

Over the last few months, Diamondbacks trainer Paul Lessard has found himself in a familiar place each day during the week -- the training room at Bank One Ballpark.

"I'm just not putting in the same hours as during the season," Lessard said.

But the hours that he is putting in are every bit as important because the D-Backs have a few key players bouncing back from injury.

Luis Gonzalez is a good example. The outfielder was diagnosed just after the season with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow. He's been throwing with Lessard over the last month.

Gonzalez has increased the distance of his throwing to 90 feet and rather than work on making longer throws right now, Lessard has him concentrating on increasing his repetitions instead of increasing the distance.

"He's doing real well," Lessard said. "We've really bumped up more endurance-wise rather than distance. He should be fine (for Spring Training)."

The plan is to continue to build Gonzalez's confidence in the health of his elbow and increase the distance so that he's throwing 150 feet without a problem during Spring Training. Increasing the distance gradually will reduce the chances of a setback, while still building strength.

Lessard said one of the biggest things Gonzalez had to overcome was the hesitancy to initially test the elbow by throwing.

"I'm sure there was concern on his part, not knowing whether or not he was going to be able to throw without pain," Lessard said.

So the trainer did not let Gonzalez know in advance when he was first going to throw.

"I pushed him to throw," Lessard said. "And after we came in the first time, he said, 'Thanks, I was afraid to do that.'"

Gonzalez's fears were well-founded. After all, if his elbow worsens he would likely need Tommy John surgery, which would sideline him for a full season. So far, though, the Diamondbacks are confident that won't be necessary, especially with the way he's looked lately.

"So far so good," Diamondbacks general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said. "I think now that he's out there actually able to throw and throw without pain, it's done wonders for his confidence."
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Postby bell » Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:20 am

Randy Johnson

MLB.com wrote:Lessard recently watched Randy Johnson work out and was encouraged by what he saw.

"He looked real good when I saw him," Lessard said. "And he looked a lot more confident in the knee too."

The ace pitcher is coming off a season in which he missed 12 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Johnson returned after the All-Star break, but was clearly not the same pitcher that had won the previous four National League Cy Young Awards.

A large part of that according to Garagiola was how serious his knee problem actually was. There were numerous loose bodies removed from the knee and several were large in size.

"I've talked to Randy a few times and he says he really feels good and his knee really, really feels solid," Garagiola said. "I saw the number of fragments they took out of his knee and it was significant. Randy has set everyone's expectation level so high, you just don't realize what he's doing when he goes out there."

A lack of cartilage now in the knee makes it a bone-on-bone situation and Johnson had several injections last year of a lubricating substance that helps alleviate that condition. Lessard said the left-hander began having another series of shots in early December. Whether he will need them during the regular season remains to be seen.

"When you think about it, he didn't really have time to get that knee strong last year," Lessard said. "He hopped right back into the fire. Now it looks real good and as a result there's less wear and tear on him when he throws."

And those that have talked to Johnson this offseason say he's anxious to show that his numbers last season were the result of his injury and not a sign that he's slowing down at age 40.

"I think Randy is prepared to answer those questions," Garagiola said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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Postby bell » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:24 pm

East Valley Tribune wrote: SHORT HOPS
The D-Backs will request Major League Baseball’s permission for infielders Carlos Baerga, Greg Colbrunn, Matt Kata and outfielder Luis Gonzalez to report to spring training with pitchers and catchers on Feb. 21. Baerga (shoulder surgery), Colbrunn (wrist surgery), Gonzalez (strained elbow) and Kata (strained left hip rotator) are rehabilitating. Permission will likely be granted, but Garagiola said the players will ultimately decide if they want to come to camp early. . . .

Garagiola said the D-Backs will need to see free-agent pitcher Orlando Hernandez, who they saw work out last week, throw again before deciding their interest level. At this time, the team is not pursuing pitcher Scott Erickson, who worked out for Arizona last week.

Interest in El Duque and Erickson is news to me. 8-o
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Postby bell » Mon Feb 09, 2004 11:12 am

Arizona Republic wrote:Set lineup appealing to D-Backs

Brenly drops curtain on player-juggling act

Bob McManaman
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 9, 2004 12:00 AM

Diamondbacks probable lineup

1. Steve Finley CF

2. Roberto Alomar 2B

3. Luis Gonzalez LF

4. Richie Sexson 1B

5. Alex Cintron SS

6. Shea Hillenbrand 3B

7. Danny Bautista RF

8. Robby Hammock C

Contrary to public opinion, Bob Brenly didn't consult with that infamous novelty store item, the Magic 8 Ball, before filling out his daily lineup card last season. It only seemed that way.

Due to injuries, inconsistencies and an injection of youth, the Diamondbacks manager used 146 different starting lineups during the 162-game season. Amazingly, only one lineup was used more than twice.

But as the Diamondbacks prepare for the start of spring training in two weeks, Brenly can throw away the pencil with the rubbed-off eraser and virtually break out a ballpoint pen when it comes to jotting down his everyday lineup for the 2004 season.

Well, at least in theory.

"Things can change, but Bob definitely has a pretty set lineup he can go with now," Diamondbacks General Manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said. "Players like that. They like routine in their lives. I think for the most part, they'll find a lot of that this year."

When Brenly turns in his lineup card, it will look like this more times than not:

Steve Finley (center field), Roberto Alomar (second base), Luis Gonzalez (left field), Richie Sexson (first base), Alex Cintron (shortstop), Shea Hillenbrand (third base), Danny Bautista (right field) and Robby Hammock (catcher).

The bench, meanwhile, appears to be the strongest in any of Arizona's seven seasons and will afford Brenly the luxury of carrying 12 pitchers. Four of the five reserve spots belong to infielders Carlos Baerga and switch-hitter Matt Kata, lefty-hitting catcher Brent Mayne, and utility clutch hitter Greg Colbrunn, who returns for his second tour with the team.

"I'm excited," Brenly said. "We've got guys at every position we fully expect to be everyday players. In the past, we've had to flip-flop and use a lot of guys, but some of that was by design. We're a whole different ballclub, though, this year."

Five of the eight projected starting-position players weren't in last year's Opening Day lineup. The only three returning regulars from last April are Finley, Gonzalez and Bautista.

Finley turns 39 next month, and although you won't find too many players that age in an everyday leadoff role, "There aren't many 39-year-old guys like Steve Finley," Garagiola said. "He stills runs very, very well, he's a smart hitter, works the count and he's a legitimate power guy, too."

In addition to tying for the National League lead with 10 triples, becoming the oldest player to do so, Finley hit 22 home runs, collected 70 RBIs and stole 15 bases.

Alomar, who spurned better offers to sign with Arizona as a free agent, is closing in on 3,000 career hits and is motivated to increase his credentials as a future Hall of Famer. He remains a defensive vacuum at second and still handles the bat well enough to advance runners and put up decent numbers.

Gonzalez is coming off a sparkling season in which he led the majors with a .354 average against right-handed pitchers and ranked in the NL's top 10 in doubles (46), intentional walks (17), multihit games (54), total bases (308), on-base percentage (.402) and extra-base hits (76).

"The team didn't accomplish all it wanted to, but when you look at what Luis did, playing all the time, it was a wonderful year for him," Garagiola said. "Most guys, if they could just do it once in their career, that would have been a defining year."

Sexson, acquired from Milwaukee, finished the season with 45 homers and 124 RBIs and gives Brenly his first genuine cleanup hitter.

Said Brenly: "He's shown the ability to put up big numbers from start to finish, no matter who was surrounding him."

It will be up to Cintron, who hit .317 in 117 games, and Hillenbrand, who had 20 homers and 97 RBIs between Boston and Arizona, to complement the heart of the order.

"I like Alex at the No. 5 spot because he's a left-handed hitter who can break up the lineup. He's shown the ability to pick up big runs, and he's got a good eye for the strike zone," Brenly said.

"And Shea is there to clean up the mess. He had a damn good season, and he'll find ways to get guys home."

Bautista has had his share of ups and downs, but he's in the final year of his contract and appears intent on proving his worth.

Hammock improved his strength to gain much-needed durability entering his first full major-league season.
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Postby bell » Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:53 am

MLB.com wrote:'Coach' Bell back with Arizona
Former D-Back to serve as a part-time instructor
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Diamondbacks fans will always remember Jay Bell as the guy who scored the winning run in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

Arizona's minor league players will know him as "coach" this spring.

Bell, who announced his retirement at the end of last season, will serve as a part-time instructor during the spring, working with the organization's minor league infielders. It's something he's been pointing to for quite some time.

"I've been setting myself up for [coaching] over the course of the last six years [by] maintaining a relationship with the Diamondbacks." Bell said. "This is the organization that I really relate myself to. I think of myself as a Diamondbacks organizational guy. Once I determined that I was not going to play any longer, to stay in the game in some capacity, it probably wouldn't have been with any other team."

Bell called it quits after batting .181 for the Mets last season. While his numbers weren't where he wanted them to be, the year was a good one for him and his family. Bell's wife Laura and the couple's three children lived in Manhattan during the season. His children got to visit the Statue of Liberty, the museums, all that New York has to offer.

"It was a great experience for my children," Bell said. "Last year was a wonderful time, a wonderful experience in New York. I had a great time. I played with some great guys."

Bell was originally drafted by the Indians and also spent time with the Pirates and Royals before signing as a free agent with the Diamondbacks just prior to the 1997 Expansion Draft. He was the first Major Leaguer the organization signed and was there for the 65-97 inaugural season as well as the 2001 World Series.

When he was signed in '97, the Diamondbacks talked about Bell setting an example for the club's younger players to help establish a Diamondbacks way to play the game.

They may be signing him for a different job this time around, but they'd like to see him fill the same role.

"It's a great thing," Diamondbacks general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said of Bell working with the minor leaguers. "Jay Bell is one of those people that anyone who can associate themselves with him is better for it. He's just the best. And that's the kind of player and the kind of person that you hope every young player in your system would turn out to be.

"He's a person of great character so any amount of time he can spend around our young players is quality time."

Bell will travel from his home in the Phoenix area to Tucson two or three times a week during the spring to work with the minor league infielders. He was an excellent defender during his 18-year career, but Bell will teach more than just fielding grounders or turning the double play.

"My objective is to not only help them improve as players, but also help them improve by teaching them to be Major Leaguers," Bell said. "Hopefully these young guys will respect the game as much as the Mark Grace's and the Matt Williams' and the Luis Gonzalez's and Steve Finley's have. I look forward to making sure that these young guys look at those guys as examples and continue to play the game with that kind of passion."

As a young franchise, the Diamondbacks don't have a long history to draw from. But bringing in Bell and Grace as instructors this spring is another step the organization is taking in trying to build one. Club veterans have taken it upon themselves to pass along the wisdom they've gleaned over the years to younger players.

Bell looks at the short history of the organization as a plus for the young players coming in. The way he sees it, they can have an impact on how an organization is shaped, much like he did.

"The guys that are drafted today, they have a sense of and a feeling that they can be a part of that history," Bell said. "We're still in the embryonic stage. The one thing that we, as an organization, really established is a particular way and a particular style to play the game, and a particular attitude that you bring to the field on a daily basis."

It hasn't been determined what Bell will do during the regular season, though it's possible he could visit each of the team's affiliates at various times to work with the infielders. While not wanting to spend too much time away from his family during his first year away from the game, Bell does have a plan for cutting down his travel times or at least making it more convenient than the average flier.

"I got my private pilot's license recently," Bell said. "So I'll be able to fly into some of these smaller towns without having to worry about checking my bags."
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Postby bell » Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:52 am

What most of you have been anticipating (and what I have been in denial about):

Rotoworld wrote:Luis Gonzalez went through his first spring training workout Sunday and said he still feels a twinge in his elbow.

One more time: Gonzalez is someone to avoid this year. He's going to attempt to play with a partially torn ligament, so he'll always be one awkward throw away from needing season-ending Tommy John surgery. He could make it through the season and put up big numbers, but it's just not a good idea to take a chance on him.

:~(

If not in right field, we may be seeing Chad Tracy in left this year.
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