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Jackson to begin prepping for 2010

Jackson to begin prepping for 2010

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PHOENIX -- Conor Jackson will likely leave Tuesday for Tucson to participate in the D-backs' instructional league program.

Jackson has been on the disabled list since May 12 with Valley Fever. The left fielder made an attempt at coming back when he started a rehab assignment last month. He was able to play just three games before having to be shut down again.

"I probably just rushed it a little bit," he said.

If all goes well in instructional league, Jackson will likely go play the first half of winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

While the 2009 season is a lost cause for him, showing that he's healthy before the Dec. 12 deadline for the D-backs to tender him a contract is important.

"I understand they have a decision they have to make and I know that my health is in question," said Jackson, who would be eligible for salary arbitration for the second year. "I know when I'm 100 percent, I can contribute to a winning team."

There is not a lot of precedent for how players are able to return from Valley Fever, so the D-backs are hoping to see him playing before they have to make the decision to tender him.

"We don't have any real comparison of having to come back from Valley Fever. We'll know more in instructional league how he feels. If [his health] is in place, I think sharpening up his skills should fall into place. Conor, as we all know, is a very diligent guy and always shows up in Spring Training in great shape and ready to go."

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Max Scherzer (9-9, 4.05 ERA)
Scherzer was on track to win his 10th game last time out against the Brewers, but the bullpen could not come through for him. The right-hander allowed one run on three hits over six innings and left with a 2-1 lead. The Brewers scored four runs against the bullpen in the seventh and went on to win, 5-3. Scherzer did not have his best slider, but did have a better feel for his changeup as the game went along. Not getting a lot of first-pitch strikes caused Scherzer's pitch count to rise early and prevented him from pitching deeper into the game.

COL: RHP Jason Hammel (8-8, 4.38 ERA)
Hammel has been the Rockies' hard-luck starter. Most of the time, he's pitched well and helped the Rockies win, but wasn't figuring in many decisions. In his last start, however, he got the bad luck of facing the Giants with a motivated Tim Lincecum on the mound. He gave up three runs in a second inning that featured two soft singles and yielded four runs total, but that was way too many against Lincecum. Hammel still needs two wins to give the Rockies five starters in double figures this season.

Tidbits
Outfielder Gerardo Parra's legs are feeling better, and D-backs manager A.J. Hinch plans to give the rookie rest down the stretch to make sure they continue to improve. Parra has been nagged by leg issues since fouling a ball off his right calf in Pittsburgh last month. ... Triple-A Reno manager Brett Butler will join the big league coaching staff Monday and will remain with the club for the final six games of the homestand. ... The D-backs game on Sept. 23 has been changed to a 7:10 p.m. MST start and will be televised on FSAZ.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FS-A

On radio
• KTAR 620, KSUN 1400 (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: D-backs (Dan Haren, 14-8, 2.79) vs. Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 13-11, 3.55), 1:10 p.m. MST
• Monday: D-backs (Doug Davis, 7-13, 4.01) vs. Giants (Barry Zito, 10-12, 3.94), 6:40 p.m. MST
• Tuesday: D-backs (TBD) vs. Giants (Matt Cain, 13-6, 2.71), 6:40 p.m. MST

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

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