Montero gets a breather

Montero gets a breather

SAN DIEGO -- Miguel Montero usually does a very good job of not thinking too much at the plate, but the D-backs catcher conceded on Saturday that his slow start with the bat this year has been wearing on him.

"I just need to stop worrying so much and just see the ball, hit the ball," Montero said. "Obviously you start overthinking because you want to get the hits, you want to find the holes, and it wasn't happening. It gets into your head a little bit, even when you try not to think about it, it always stays there."

Montero has shown signs of snapping out of his funk recently. In Friday's series opener against the Padres, he homered to center, walked and had an opposite-field single to raise his average to .208.

Montero credited the success to trying to hit the ball where it was pitched, rather than an improved mental approach.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson gave Montero the day off on Saturday against San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard.

The move was made because of the lefty-lefty matchup and to give Montero a physical and mental break. With the D-backs having blown 10 saves this year and the relievers struggling, Montero has been putting added pressure on himself.

"All the things that have been going down late in the games with the pitchers, as a catcher I know he wears it," Gibson said. "We've talked about not doing so, but I know he wears it. He's putting fingers down, and he's reflecting on what he can do differently. So I'm going to give him a little blow today."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.