Notes: Snyder's bat heats up

Notes: Snyder's bat heats up

PHOENIX -- Chris Snyder hasn't exactly put the Diamondbacks lineup on his back during his modest five-game hitting streak.

The second-year catcher is 5-for-16, but his work with hitting coach Mike Aldrete has been obvious during the stretch. Snyder doesn't have a lot of pop, notching only three home runs and seven doubles in 186 at bats this year, so Aldrete has tried to simplify Snyder's swing, getting him to stay back on the ball and use the whole field.

Of those five hits, two have gone to left, two to center and one to right. Only one was an extra-base hit, coming on a ground-rule double down the left-field line.

"For me, right now, the balls are finding the holes, which is all I can ask for. I've been up and down the whole season. I'm just trying to stay even-keeled," Snyder said. "I've been working with Aldrete quite a bit, just trying to work on some little things, basic things. [We're] not trying to reinvent the wheel, just trying to go back to the basics.

But Snyder, who is hitting .231, wasn't promoted to the Majors from Double-A El Paso last August for his production at the plate as much as what he does behind it. Manager Bob Melvin won't hesitate to pull Snyder for a pinch-hitter, like he did on Wednesday night, lifting Snyder for Quinton McCracken in the seventh inning.

For the past two months, though, Melvin has had confidence in putting the 24-year-old behind the plate nearly every day.

"He's a guy [who is] way beyond his years behind the plate. Emotionally, he is probably a little further along than most guys. The hitting is the next thing to come," Melvin said. "He'll swing the bat, he'll get his share of hits and he'll be a good hitter down the road. Right now most of his focus in on working with the veteran staff and the young bullpen that we have.

Unusual lineup: Melvin used Thursday's game to give a couple of regulars a day off and attempted to shake up a scuffling lineup that managed just five singles in a 4-2 loss to San Francisco on Wednesday.

Shawn Green was given the day off before Arizona heads to play the Dodgers, the team that traded him in the offseason. Jose Cruz Jr. will play right field for Green, who is out of the starting lineup for the first time since June 5th. Alex Cintron will lead off and play second for Craig Counsell, who had started 16 straight games.

"It's time to give Counsell a day and Greenie, too. Going into L.A., those guys have been going pretty hard for us every day," Melvin said. "We'll call on some other guys to be productive for us today. Sometimes you've got to shake some things up."

Improving: Third baseman Troy Glaus said that his left knee feels better since getting a cortisone shot last Saturday night, though he aggravated it a bit with a hard slide into second base on Wednesday night, getting up gingerly.

"I just banged it," he said. "No big deal. It actually feels pretty good right now. We'll see how it goes."

Lyon update: While most Major Leaguers are hoping to be in Detroit for the All-Star Game on July 12, injured closer Brandon Lyon will be happy if he's in Triple-A Tucson by then.

Lyon, who was having an All-Star caliber season before landing on the disabled list on May 13, threw from 120 feet before Thursday's game. He'll have a day off before conducting a bullpen session on Saturday in Los Angeles.

If Lyon's right elbow strain doesn't give him any trouble, he'll go on a Minor League rehab stint in Tucson during the All-Star break and join the D-Backs shortly thereafter.

More signings: While negotiations with top-pick Justin Upton continue, the Diamondbacks announced two more signings from the 2005 Draft on Thursday. Left-handed pitcher Ryan Schreppel, an eighth-round selection from Cal State-Fullerton, will report to Class A Yakima. Catcher Houston Summers, who was taken in the 47th round from Northwest Guilford High School in North Carolina, has been assigned to rookie-level Missoula.

On deck: The Diamondbacks begin a three-game road series with the division rival Dodgers on Friday. Javier Vazquez will pitch against Brad Penny.

Daniel Blank is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.