10/09/07 10:40 PM ET
Notes: Owings planned for Game 4
D-backs have four-man NLCS rotation in cards, for now
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
At least that's the plan.
"If I need to change things, I'll change them on the fly," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said.
As it stands right now that means ace Brandon Webb will pitch Thursday's opener and be followed by Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez and Micah Owings.
Melvin is hesitant to use Webb on three days' rest given the heavy workload the right-hander had this season, when he tossed 236 1/3 innings. Hernandez is the only pitcher Melvin has brought back on short rest this year.
"Really, he's never done it before," Melvin said of Webb. While the D-backs might be willing to throw other pitchers on short rest based on workload, "We try to err on the side of caution. It's just the way that we've been. I don't see bringing him back on three days' rest. I don't like doing that."
Micah's turn: If Melvin sticks to that rotation, Owings will get to see his first action of the postseason.
The right-hander was scheduled to start Game 4 of the NL Division Series, but the D-backs swept the Cubs in three games, so Owings was left to watch.
As a means of staying sharp, Owings pitched for Arizona's instructional league team Tuesday in Tucson.
Roster rumblings: Melvin said the team hadn't decided yet on its roster for the NLCS.
The D-backs are likely to stick with the 11-pitcher, 14 position-player formula they used in the NLDS, and one team source said the roster itself would probably remain the same.
Taking time: After they beat the Cubs in Game 2, the D-backs immediately flew to Chicago and arrived at their hotel in the early morning hours.
With Friday's Game 2 set for 7:07 p.m. MT, the D-backs have decided that they will leave for Denver late Saturday morning so they can get a good night's sleep.
Filling time: The sweep of the Cubs left the D-backs with five days between the end of the NLDS and the beginning of the NLCS.
With that in mind, the team had light workouts Monday and Tuesday at Chase Field. Wednesday both teams will work out.
To try and break up the monotony, Melvin had some hitters step in and take batting practice against pitchers rather than coaches Monday, and he may do the same thing again Wednesday.
"It's just trying stay sharp and ready, stay on a baseball field and get your reps and get your ground balls," Melvin said.
Tickets: Ticket sales were somewhat brisk Tuesday, but tickets still remain for the first two games of the series.
"Good crowds already, but there are still some great seats available," team president Derrick Hall said.
Still fun: The D-backs have spent the better part of eight months with each other day in and day out. It's the kind of close proximity that can make for short tempers, but not on this team.
"Right now, this time of the year, is usually when you're sick of each other," first baseman Conor Jackson said. "It's not like that here. We all get along and I look forward to coming to the ballpark. It's a good place to be."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.