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Gibby trying to maximize off-days' effectiveness

PHOENIX -- Having started their season in Australia before 28 other teams got underway, the D-backs have some extra off days during the month of May.

The D-backs had the first three Thursdays of the month off, and they will also get Monday off before a six-game road trip.

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has used the off-days as a way of giving some players two days off in a row, like when he gave second baseman Aaron Hill a day off right before a scheduled off-day for the team.

In other cases, Gibson has used the off-days to keep playing regulars like catcher Miguel Montero and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Outfielder Cody Ross was out of the starting lineup Friday night in favor of Ender Inciarte. After coming alive during the series against the White Sox in Chicago, Ross has gone 0-for-10. The veteran is still working his way back after dislocating and fracturing his right hip in August.

"Cody's going to play [Saturday]," Gibson said. "Just trying to find a good mix with Cody. Trying to get him to play enough to try and figure it out, and not play him too much to worry. I want to try to get him to progress with his injury."

The talk of off-days led to a funny exchange between Gibson and the media prior to Friday's game when he mentioned that he might give outfielder Gerardo Parra Saturday off.

Gibson was reminded that Saturday is Gerardo Parra Bobblehead Night.

"Well, he can sign bobbleheads," Gibson said with a smile. "I haven't made up the lineup for tomorrow yet, but I don't make up a lineup based upon whether they have a bobblehead day, believe it or not."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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