D-backs recall Whitesell from Triple-A
Clark placed on disabled list with strained ligament in hand
SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs have a new starting first baseman.
The team recalled Josh Whitesell from Triple-A Reno on Wednesday and manager Bob Melvin said the 27-year-old will play every day in the foreseeable future.
Whitesell takes the roster spot of Tony Clark, who was placed on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his right hand, but more noteworthy, he takes the starting position of Chad Tracy.
Whitesell, who hit .328 with 36 doubles, 26 homers and 110 RBIs last year in Triple-A, was batting .356 in 87 at-bats this year for Triple-A Reno. Upon his arrival in San Diego, he was informed that he would be hitting fifth in the lineup against Jake Peavy.
"I'm going to go out there and try to get some good pitches and swing the bat," Whitesell said. "Same thing with tomorrow, and [I'll] try to put together a couple of games where I get a couple of knocks and keep things going from where I left off [in the Minors]."
Whitesell put together a good spring, but lost out to Ryan Roberts in the battle for the final spot on the roster. Rather than be upset, he focused on making it hard for the D-backs to keep him out of the bigs.
"You can only control what's under your control," Whitesell said. "For me, that's trying to take a quality at-bat every game and go down there and work hard on my defense and improve on plate discipline and try to make sure that I was cutting down my swing and making consistent contact. Just trying to barrel as many balls as I could."
Clark, who was hitting just .179, hadn't been barreling many balls, particularly from the left side, where the injured right hand really hampered him. He initially suffered the injury in a game against the Rangers towards the end of Spring Training.
"It was just a roller coaster ride for this first month-and-a-half," Clark said. "And it finally got to the point where I wasn't consistently making contributions that I needed to make for the club, and it was in our best interests to take some time ... to heal up and get back to where I was prior to [the injury]."
Clark will see the team's hand specialist, Dr. Don Sheridan, on Friday to determine the best course of action.
Tracy, who was hitting .224, will see some playing time in a reserve role at first and third. When asked how Tracy took the news of his benching, Melvin said the veteran took it "professionally."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.