PHOENIX -- Cole Gillespie knew when he was called up on April 21 that his stay with the D-backs was tenuous, and once Conor Jackson was healthy and back in left field, there would be a corresponding move.Well, Jackson is back. He was activated from the disabled list on Saturday, yet Gillespie still has a spot in the big league clubhouse. Having the team's third-best slugging percentage -- fourth if pitcher Dan Haren is included -- went a long way in Gillespie sticking while Gerardo Parra, who spent most of the season with the D-backs in 2009, was sent down. "You know the possibility is out there," Gillespie said. "But at the same time, you can't let it enter your mind or change the way you approach your chances. You have to just take care of what you can do and make it hard [on management]." Gillespie, who can play all three outfield positions, brought his power stroke with him from Triple-A Reno. He has five doubles and his first career home run, which he hit on Friday, among his nine hits. Overall, Gillespie is hitting .290 (9-for-31) with three RBIs and a .548 slugging percentage. It's pretty clear he is comfortable in his surroundings. "When I first got called up and was playing at Wrigley Field, I caught myself looking around a little bit," he said. "I got a few hits early, and it made it easier to settle down. Then I began working, finding a way to say here as long as possible."
Rosales being patient in recovery
PHOENIX -- Leo Rosales walked into the D-backs' clubhouse on Sunday morning with a boot still on his right foot.He gets to take it off on Monday. It might be for no longer than just to have the doctor look at it, but at least progress is being made. "We find out what the next step is and where we stand," Rosales said. "I have to be patient. Eight weeks means eight weeks and not four because I want it to be. "There is a plan in place, and I have to follow it." Rosales was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot and had surgery after going on the disabled list on April 28. The timetable was pegged at eight weeks for his return. Rosales had been one of the lone bright spots in the bullpen until his final outing -- when he knowingly pitched with the injury -- before being lit up for seven earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against Colorado to balloon his ERA to 8.10 in 10 innings. "I was in a good groove and felt like I was doing what I wanted to with my pitches," Rosales said. "It was a tough time, but it is part of the game. After missing time in 2007, I know how to handle [the down time] better."
Hinch undecided whether to skip Valdez
PHOENIX -- With an off-day on Thursday, D-backs manager A.J. Hinch hasn't decided whether fifth starter Cesar Valdez will be skipped.Valdez pitched and took the loss on Saturday against Milwaukee and would be scheduled to go Friday in Atlanta if the organization decided to keep him on his regular turn. Hinch said there are several factors, including the pitch count of the starters over the next couple of days and how taxed the bullpen is in the days leading up to it. The manager did say Valdez has the type of stuff that would work in bullpen if that should be the decision. "He's pretty unique in how he pitches," Hinch said. "If you watch him, you don't quite know if it is a sinker or a changeup. He throws enough breaking balls to keep you honest. If he was to go the bullpen at some point in his career, or in between starts, he has some variations of the same pitch. He can add or subtract [velocity] of that. It will be interesting to see how this plays out." After winning his Major League debut by allowing one earned run in five innings against Houston, Valdez allowed six earned in four innings against Milwaukee in his second outing. "As rough of a night as we had, and he got the brunt if it, you still didn't feel he was overmatched or out of sorts," Hinch said. "They found some holes and then got some big hits and you look up on the scoreboard and it is pretty ugly, but not entirely his fault."
D-backs' Benson making progress
PHOENIX -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said right-hander Kris Benson hasn't had any setbacks entering Sunday's throwing session.Benson went on the disabled list on April 28 with a right shoulder strain after feeling some discomfort in his start against Colorado. "We are going to take an aggressive approach," Hinch said. "He threw two days in a row and didn't feel any restrictions and didn't have any problems. We are going to lengthen him out [with Sunday's throwing session]." Hinch said there wouldn't be simulated games needed before his return. "If he is going to travel with us [next weekend], it will be with the intention of him doing some work off the mound," Hinch said. "Hopefully it is quick. It will take a rehab assignment [before he is activated], but not if he is going to have to throw three, four or five bullpen sessions before getting into competition." Benson, who was a late Spring Training signing, won the fifth-starter spot and started the season in Triple-A Reno. He made one quality start in the Minors before getting called up on April 17, when the D-backs first needed a fifth starter. He then had two more quality starts, going 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA, before the injury.
Jason P. Skoda is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.