D-backs fill out coaching vacancies
Porter named bench coach; Youngblood takes third-base role
PHOENIX -- By promoting Kirk Gibson from bench coach to interim manager late Thursday, the D-backs created a hole on the new skipper's staff.
Arizona filled it Friday night, leaving the official announcement until Saturday afternoon prior its game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Third-base coach Bo Porter replaces Gibson on the bench, and Joel Youngblood assumes Porter's old post.
Porter, 37, interviewed for the Marlins' managerial vacancy last week. He was Florida's third-base coach from 2007-09 prior to coming West.
"You look within your organization first; you kind of like to promote from within," Gibson said. "I thought Bo is a guy who would really be a great assistant to me, very qualified, very familiar with our system and how we evaluate things."
Youngblood, 58, is in his fourth season in the organization, most recently serving as the D-backs' Minor League outfield and baserunning coordinator. Youngblood, who also held Major League coaching positions with the Cincinatti Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, played for five teams over 14 MLB seasons.
"My number one concern right now is don't mess the signs up," joked Youngblood, who worked with Gibson and much of the Major League staff and players during Spring Training. "It's just a matter of getting my feet back on the ground and getting settled and confident, like everybody else in this sport."
D-backs left fielder Cole Gillespie said working with Youngblood in the Minor Leagues improved his footwork and throwing motion in the outfield.
"I think the first time I met him, he was already trying to correct my throwing technique," Gillespie said. "He's very hands-on and has a lot of ideas out there.
"He'll be there. If he sees something, he'll be there to correct it."
Fellow outfielder Gerardo Parra, whom Gillespie splits playing time with, said Youngblood's coaching at Double-A Mobile was instrumental to his growth as a defender, too.
While he has worked as an outfield instructor, Youngblood said his main focus with the big league squad will be baserunning.
As part of Friday's musical chairs -- Gibson replaced A.J. Hinch and Jerry Dipoto was promoted in the wake of general manager Josh Byrnes' dismissal -- bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock filled in as bench coach during the D-backs' 12-5 victory over the Dodgers.
Webb takes another step toward recovery
PHOENIX -- Another day, another small step forward for recovering starting pitcher Brandon Webb.
The D-backs' right-hander, rehabilitating last summer's shoulder surgery, threw in the bullpen on Saturday prior to his club's game against the Dodgers. Webb, who has been alternating between light and heavy throwing sessions, had a light one, tossing two-seam fastballs at full distance with the catcher crouched.
"I feel like I'm progressing every day, and that's something I haven't had," Webb said. "It's fun to throw and almost be a normal player.
"The light is there. It's still dim, but it's there and it's very reachable."
Webb's next step: Pitching with a hitter standing in the batter's box, which could occur as early as next week.
Webb last threw a pitch in a Major League game on Opening Day in 2009, so he never officially played for recently dismissed manager A.J. Hinch. This season, Webb was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 4 and transferred to the 60-day DL two weeks later.
Multiple changes mark Gibson's lineup card
PHOENIX -- The D-backs' second Kirk Gibson-scribed lineup included a lot of unlikely starters.
The interim skipper replaced first baseman Adam LaRoche (0-for-5 on Friday night) with reserve Rusty Ryal. Gibson also elected to bat backup catcher Chris Snyder, who is 2-for-4 with a home run all-time against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, in Miguel Montero's usual cleanup spot.
"Overall, I'm trying to reinvigorate my team," Gibson explained. "There's some shock factor to it. I'm also trying to establish the batting order. If you think down the game a little bit, what might happen, whose spot that is [Montero's]."
Some alterations to the D-backs' usual starting infield simply proved necessary. Second baseman Kelly Johnson (flu) was scratched prior to batting practice and replaced by Augie Ojeda, who was slated to bat eighth.
Tony Abreu started in lieu of shortstop Stephen Drew (left knee stiffness), who has played just once over Arizona's past four games. Drew said his ailing knee simply needed rest. He was available off of the bench on Saturday and is likely to return to the starting lineup on Sunday.
"It doesn't matter who we put in there," Gibson said. "We go out there and compete. I want everybody to understand that, because I think we'll be a better team if everybody is involved."
Adam LaRoche gave Kirk Gibson the game ball from his first managerial win Friday night. Gibson also said he received upward of 100 messages from friends both in and out of baseball. ... Gibson termed Justin Upton's caught stealing in Friday's first inning a lazy mental error, but said Upton was aware of his mistake. ... New third-base coach Joel Youngblood is the only Major League player ever to record a base hit for two different clubs on the same day. Youngblood accomplished the feat when he was traded from the New York Mets to the Montreal Expos on Aug. 4, 1982. ... Former Major League relievers Saul Rivera and Carlos Rosa each threw scoreless innings for Triple-A Reno on Friday night. Recently-demoted utility man Ryan Roberts went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs.
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.