Notes: Takatsu a possibility?

Notes: Takatsu a possibility?

PHOENIX -- Rumors swirled Monday that the Diamondbacks were close to a deal for reliever Shingo Takatsu, who was designated for assignment by the White Sox on Monday, but nothing appears imminent.

The Diamondbacks have had scouts at White Sox games as of late, but in keeping with his policy, Arizona general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. declined to comment on the possibility of acquiring the 36-year-old Takatsu.

"I'm not going to discuss specific players," he said.

The Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that the Diamondbacks had "strong interest" in the right-handed reliever. An organization has 10 days from the time it designates a player for assignment to either trade, release or outright the player to the minors.

The Diamondbacks have been looking for relief help for quite some time, but are very reluctant to trade away any of their top prospects in the process.

"I spoke with a lot of GM's today and I will continue to do so," Garagiola said.

Hook 'em horns: University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido was at Monday's game as a guest of Arizona general partner Jeff Moorad.

Garrido, who led the Longhorns to a National Championship last month, is under consideration for a player personnel job within the Diamondbacks organization.

Moorad, who called Garrido "a dear friend" declined to comment on the possibility of Garrido joining the Diamondbacks, but did praise the 66-year-old's ability to work and develop young players.

Under Garrido's direction, the Longhorns have made it to the College World Series in five of the past six seasons and won two National Championships. He is the all-time winningest coach in college baseball history.

Take a break: Left fielder Luis Gonzalez, who was 2-for-15 in the series with the Padres, was given the day off on Monday.

Gonzalez spent extra time in the batting cage on Monday working with hitting coach Mike Aldrete.

"He struggled a little bit again [Sunday] and he goes pretty hard on himself," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "Everybody goes through slumps, but there are times when I think days off are probably easier to take than others."

It's been a draining few weeks for Gonzalez, who was placed on the bereavement list June 25 after the death of his stepfather. Gonzalez traveled to Florida for the funeral. He did not get any rest during last week's All-Star break as he was the D-Backs' lone representative in Detroit.

"It's not an excuse, but you just don't get a break," Gonzalez said.

Melvin told Gonzalez on Sunday night that he was not going to be in the lineup Monday. Gonzalez, who played in all 162 games in both 2000 and 2001 is notorious for trying to talk his manager out of days off.

"He doesn't like days off, period," Melvin said. "But sometimes you're going to get them. We talked about days off before the season, talked about one a month and so here's his one for this month."

His recent struggles at the plate have also worn down Gonzalez, who puts tremendous pressure on himself to produce.

"I try to overwork," he said of his reaction to struggles. "I end up working overtime with [hitting coach Mike Aldrete] looking at tapes."

Another look: With Gonzalez out of the lineup, Melvin decided to play first baseman Chad Tracy in left for the second time this year.

''I thought he did great," Melvin said of time Tracy played there last month. "He made a couple nice plays, came in and made a nice sliding play on one, looked like his reads were good. Second time out there, you're a little more comfortable than the first time. I thought he handled it well. He's a good athlete.''

By playing Tracy in left, Melvin was able to get both his and first baseman Tony Clark's bats into the lineup.

If it ain't broke: With a left-hander on the mound, Melvin gave Luis Terrero the start in center instead of Jose Cruz Jr., and Kelly Stinnett started for the third straight day behind the plate.

One of the reasons Stinnett was in the lineup was the way he worked with Monday's starter, Michael Gosling, in his last outing.

Up next: The Diamondbacks take on the Marlins on Tuesday in the second game of this three-game set.

Arizona will send Javier Vazquez to the mound and the right-hander certainly hopes to have the same success he did in his last outing, when he shut out the Padres through eight innings on Thursday at PETCO Park.

The Marlins will counter with right-hander A.J. Burnett.

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