Parra makes impact with increased playing time

Parra makes impact with increased playing time

Parra makes impact with increased playing time
SAN DIEGO -- Gerardo Parra was in the D-backs lineup for the fourth straight game Sunday and if you're manager Kirk Gibson it's hard to justify taking him out of it right now.

It's not that Parra is tearing it up at the plate -- he was 1-for-11 in Wednesday, Friday and Saturday's games -- it's that regardless of whether he's delivering hits, he's finding ways to have a positive impact on the game.

"He's a very good player beyond what he does at the plate," Gibson said. "He's just aggressive, he brings energy."

Take Saturday's game for example. Parra showed his cannon of an arm from right field by throwing one runner out at third and throwing a strike to cutoff man Aaron Hill to nail another at third.

On the bases, Parra's bluff down the third-base line caused Padres reliever Alex Hinshaw to balk and Parra trotted home with an important run.

At the plate he also drew a bases-loaded walk to force home a run.

"That's what I'm trying to do, be ready for anything," Parra said. "If I don't get a hit maybe I can do something on defense, maybe on the bases."

Parra won a Gold Glove last year and had the best offensive season of his young career, but he was relegated to a fourth-outfielder role when the club signed Jason Kubel.

An injury to center fielder Chris Young allowed Parra to get more playing time than expected and it wouldn't be a surprise for Gibson to continue to try to find ways to get him in there. Meanwhile Parra continues to work at sharpening every aspect of his game with hitting coach Don Baylor and outfield coach Eric Young.

"When you're working hard every day you feel confident," Parra said. "I just keep working. E.Y. has a good program for the outfielders. We are working every day."