Hale plans to 'mix and match' players liberally

D-backs skipper tells team to be ready to contribute even if not starting

Hale plans to 'mix and match' players liberally

PHOENIX -- As he works to find playing time for four outfielders as well as juggle playing time in the infield, D-backs manager Chip Hale will be flexible with his daily lineups, and his players will have to be as well.

"Well, you know what, we've got a lot of guys who are starters on this team, so I have to figure out a way to get them all at-bats," Hale said when asked about changing his lineup from Opening Day to the season's second game. "We don't have a DH in this league, so I have to mix and match. It's going to be tough on them at times. We've already made that clear to them that if they're not starting, they're going to get a chance to play late in the game and win the game for us, like last night."

Hale also plans to be aggressive when it comes to pinch-hitting based on matchups.

Opening Night, Hale pinch-hit for both Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed in the eighth because left-handers match up better against Giants right-hander Sergio Romo. Getting the right matchup is more important than sticking with a player to show you believe in him.

"The whole believe in a guy and all that?" Hale said. "If they're on the team, then I believe in them. They're on the roster, then I believe in them. You guys can write what you want, you can say what you want about it, but we put guys up there to win games. We put them in good situations. Sergio Romo is extremely hard to hit if you're a right-handed hitter, and if we have a lefty on the bench that we can match in that situation, we're probably going to do it."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.