Ryal adapting to pinch-hitting role

Ryal adapting to pinch-hitting role

PHOENIX -- Pinch-hitting is not generally thought of as a role for young players still trying to establish themselves in the big leagues.

Rusty Ryal, though, has proved adept in the role, despite only having 59 Major League at-bats coming into this season.

As a pinch-hitter, Ryal is 5-for-11 this year, and he came into play Saturday with a .417 batting average overall.

"I wouldn't say you are ever comfortable, but you want to be confident," Ryal said. "I think you just want to have confidence that you're going to have a good at-bat and do your job. I think it's just more having a general plan as to what you're going to do with different type of pitchers. Scouting reports are a lot of help, but it's one of those things where there is no telling what's going to occur when you're pinch-hitting."

Initially, D-backs manager A.J. Hinch looked to try to put Ryal in spots where he could have success, such as against left-handed pitchers, but that has evolved quickly.

"More and more, I like him in any matchup," Hinch said. "He causes some concern when he comes up to bat and that's a good reputation to get, and he's producing. That type of bat off the bench is what we had hoped he would be when he made the club."