Montero, Tracy make limited progress

Montero, Tracy make limited progress

TUCSON, Ariz. -- There was good news on the field for the Diamondbacks on Friday morning, as the team saw significant progress from catcher Miguel Montero and third baseman Chad Tracy.

Unfortunately, the progress is coming late enough in the spring that neither is very likely to make the Opening Day roster.

Montero broke his right index finger in Winter Ball last December, and had a setback when he came to Spring Training and discovered the fracture had not compacted as expected. He has been shut down from baseball activity and has yet to play in a Cactus League game this spring. Friday, he was cleared to hit off the tee and throw some soft toss from 60 feet.

"We're probably still at least a week away from games for him, but it's good to actually get him doing some baseball activity," manager Bob Melvin said. "We've just got to incrementally get him to where he can go out in a game, make sure each and every day that physically we're not getting any setbacks. There's no timetable yet, but he's probably at least a week away."

With the season starting a week from Monday, Montero is all but certain to start the year on the disabled list, with the backup catching job initially going to Robby Hammock.

"I don't think there's any chance that Miguel is with us, and therefore Hammer's the natural fit," Melvin explained.

Tracy also had a key development, taking ground balls in the infield on Friday for the first time this spring and adding in some agility drills and running.

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"It's a big day for him," Melvin said. "We'll see how he responds tomorrow. If there are no complications there, then we'll increase it a little bit more. More ground balls, maybe move him around on the field a little bit, but we're still a ways away from game-type situations for him too."

Tracy is also a longshot to make the Opening Day roster, but he has been able to take batting practice all spring, and worked in the cages through much of the winter, making him closer to being available as a pinch-hitter. It is unlikely, however, that the D-backs would feel his bat off the bench would warrant holding a roster spot for him before he is ready to field his position.

"Swinging's no problem for him," Melvin said. "He could come into a game right now and get good swings. That will be quick to come -- just get him at bats. But he's got to be able to move around on the field to the extent that he can be out there for a while."

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