SAN FRANCISCO -- Dan Haren's stat line is stunning: 5.35 ERA and 16 home runs in 74 innings.
Those are not numbers you usually see for a man who has pitched in the last three All-Star Games and is regarded as one of the better pitchers in the game. Yet that's where Haren stands following a Thursday start where he allowed eight runs in 6 1/3 innings.
One day later, he was asked where he goes from here.
"I think taking a step back and thinking about what's gone on," Haren said. "It's been 11 starts. I've thrown plenty of innings, gotten plenty of strikeouts, I'm not walking anybody. I mean, really it's simple. I'm giving up too many homers and a few too many hits, but really it's just too many homers. The homer is killing me. There's no excuse for that."
The one thing he is certain about is that it's not a mechanical problem or a lack of stuff.
"I get guys to swing and miss quite a bit," he said.
Haren does not walk many hitters, which means they know he's going to be in the strike zone a lot. He may alter that and see if that helps.
"Maybe it's changing my philosophy a little bit and pitching outside the strike zone a little more, nibbling a little more," Haren said.
There was some thought that he was throwing too many cutters, so in his last couple of outings, he has thrown the cutter a little less and tried to go inside more with his fastball.
"It's not that it's the cutter, it's the location of it -- up and out over the plate," Haren said. "I can hit a little bit. If I see a cutter hanging out, middle third of the plate, up in the zone, that's a pitch that I want to hit. It's about making the pitches. I feel like I'm making a lot of really good pitches and a lot of really bad pitches."
Haren will get a chance to try some of the adjustments Tuesday when he faces the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
"I'm looking forward to pitching on Tuesday," he said. "It's not like I don't want to go out there. The tough thing about being a starting pitcher is you do have to wait a few days. It's not like a hitter and you can go 0-for-5 with five strikeouts and come out the next day. I think in this case it's all right, the break, being able like I said to step back and think about the year. I'm not going to just chalk it up to a bad year. There's still too much time left."
D-backs relieved Abreu's injury not serious
SAN FRANCISCO -- For the second time in a week, the D-backs received good news about Tony Abreu.
The injured infielder was examined by hand specialist Don Sheridan in Phoenix on Friday and Sheridan confirmed that Abreu's left wrist was sprained. Abreu was injured in Sunday's game against the Blue Jays when he went to tag Jose Molina, who was trying to stretch a single into a double.
At the time it was feared there was a fracture, dislocation or ligament damage. Instead, Abreu could begin baseball activities in the next week.
"It's a great relief," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "It looks like we've avoided what could have been a tough loss for a long time for us."
Abreu is hitting .313 in a utility role this year.
Montero headed to extended spring training
SAN FRANCISCO -- Miguel Montero can't wait to get to Spring Training.
Extended spring training, that is.
The D-backs catcher will fly to Phoenix on Sunday and then travel to Tucson, where he will serve as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game Monday.
"I can't wait," Montero said. "It feels like it's been a long time."
It's been since April 11, to be exact. That's when Montero tore the meniscus in his right knee while running to first base. Since then, he's undergone surgery and been anxiously waiting for the time when he could get back on the field.
Montero will likely DH the first couple of days before getting behind the plate for a few innings Wednesday. He will wear a knee brace initially until he is fully confident in his knee.
"I feel good -- that's the main thing," he said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.