Kubel making his presence felt in the field

Kubel making his presence felt in the field

Kubel making his presence felt in the field
PHOENIX -- Coming into the season, D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel's defense was an afterthought to his bat.

The slugger was tied for the Major League lead in outfield assists with four entering Tuesday.

"I've always had confidence in my arm," Kubel said. "My job is to try to make runners stay put."

Not to take away from his .294 batting average with two homers and seven RBIs entering Tuesday, but it has been Kubel's defensive play that has impressed manager Kirk Gibson the most.

"He's throwing the ball extremely well," Gibson said. "It's not as easy as picking the ball up and you should get the guy out. It's hard and it's a credit to him and how accurate he's throwing the ball. He's a veteran guy, he understand that. He's not a baby. He's relaxed and he's starting to execute like we thought he would."

Most recently on Sunday, Kubel threw out Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who was trying to stretch out a single, at second base. Then on Monday, he beat Phillies infielder Pete Orr with a throw home to Miguel Montero to save a run.

Kubel said having fellow strong-armed outfielders like Gerardo Parra and Justin Upton next to him helps keep runners from taking extra bases, but he actually likes when opponents challenge him.

"I see it as an opportunity to make a play and to help the team," Kubel said. "To make them think twice next time."