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D-backs shake up Opening Day lineup

D-backs shake up Opening Day lineup

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PHOENIX -- One day after a surprise announcement that outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Mark Reynolds would not be in the Opening Day starting lineup, D-backs manager posted his batting order with left fielder Conor Jackson hitting seventh.

Throughout the spring, it had appeared Jackson would hit cleanup, but after a poor spring at the plate and his 0-for-12 track record against Rockies starter Aaron Cook, Melvin decided to put Chad Tracy in the cleanup spot with Jackson sliding down to seventh.

"A couple of different reasons," Melvin said about hitting Jackson seventh. "One, not his best matchup. I mean this is a game that a lot of times I don't play him though I never considered not playing him today. And if we are going to play Tony [Clark], let's get him up there a little earlier."

Clark is hitting sixth behind Eric Byrnes.

Leaving out Upton and Reynolds raised some eyebrows, but Melvin said all spring that he would go with his best lineup on any given day. It was Byrnes' success against Cook that gave him the edge over Upton, and in an attempt to get lefties Tracy and Clark in the lineup against the right-handed Cook, Reynolds had to sit.

"No comment," Reynolds said when asked about being in the lineup.

"Obviously I want to be in there, but I understand where he's coming from," Upton said. "It's not my job to think, just to play."

Melvin knew his decision would ruffle some feathers, but said he felt like it was the best thing for the team as a whole.

"They'll live with it and be back in there tomorrow," Melvin said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["opening_day" ] }
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