Gibson being flexible with D-backs' lineup

Gibson being flexible with D-backs' lineup

Gibson being flexible with D-backs' lineup
PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson etched out another creative lineup on Saturday for the late afternoon game against the Padres at Chase Field. It was his 106th of the season, including only position players -- and 137th, adding pitchers, in 146 games.

Saturday's lineup had Gerardo Para in the leadoff slot for only the second time this season, plus Geoff Blum in the fifth spot and Lyle Overbay in the seventh spot for the first time.

Ironically, Gibson played right field for a World Series-winning Tigers team in 1984, during a season in which manager Sparky Anderson was able to roll out virtually the same lineup every day.

"In reality, I think the game has changed a bit right now," Gibson said. "If you have the personnel, [it's changed] even more so. When I was a player, you wanted to play 155, 160 games. Maybe there's no reason for that; maybe there is. But you have to keep everybody healthy. You have to keep everybody engaged. Maybe I look at it a little differently, but you have to know your players."

Right now, Justin Upton batting third and Miguel Montero batting fourth seem to be the only constants.

One thing that was different from the norm: In Friday night's 3-2 win over the Padres, Gibson used nine players, a rarity in the National League where pitching changes and double-switches are commonplace, particularly with expanded rosters. Daniel Hudson pitched his third complete game of the season.

"In general, but not always, I try to let everyone play," Gibson said. "When you have a pitcher like Huddy, I could've pinch-hit for him, but he wanted to finish and I wanted him to finish. That's the way I chose to go. Everybody else got to watch."