Gibby leaves leadoff role in Parra's hands
PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson penciled Gerardo Parra in the leadoff spot for the second consecutive game on Tuesday, and said the outfielder will likely keep that role at least until either Willie Bloomquist or Adam Eaton returns from injury.
Parra, who is a .310 career hitter batting first, tied a career-high with four hits in Monday night's 6-2 win over the Cardinals.
"It'll be hard to take him out of there if he keeps playing that way," Gibson said. "He's worked hard, and here he is today. He had a great game for us."
Parra's improvement in his approach at the plate over the past few seasons gives Gibson the confidence to slot him higher in the lineup.
"We started him down batting eighth, where it taught him to be selective because the pitcher was behind him," Gibson said. "He wasn't very selective when he first came up, but now he's evolved up to the one-hole. He sets the tone. He's done a good job, and it'll be interesting to see if he can sustain it for the whole year."
A.J. Pollock, who has hit leadoff in 11 of his 33 career games, is another option at the top of the lineup, but Martin Prado is not. Gibson ruled out Prado, saying he prefers the third baseman in the two-hole.