D-Backs notebook: Metrodome, team a Twin problem for Arizona - East Valley Tribune: News

D-Backs notebook: Metrodome, team a Twin problem for Arizona

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Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2003 11:15 pm | Updated: 1:44 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A few hours before the first game of a series, the Diamondbacks usually go over the opponents’ pitchers.

Today, they will get a scouting report on the opponents’ stadium.

Minneapolis’ Metrodome could present as much of a challenge as the first-place Minnesota Twins.

“It's a home-field advantage, no question about that,” catcher Chad Moeller, an ex-Twin, said before Thursday's game at Kansas City was rained out. “It's not easy.”

Balls scoot on the fast Metrodome turf and can bounce over outfielders’ heads. And fly balls get lost in the off-white ceiling.

“The biggest thing you've got to worry about is the roof, because it's white,” said Shea Hillenbrand, who played at Minnesota while with Boston. “You can't take your eye off the ball.”

Said Moeller: “Never give up on the ball. Start yelling if you lose it but don't take your eye off where you think it is, because it can reappear again.”

Quinton McCracken, who played for the Twins in 2001, said outfielders have to play deeper than normal.

“It's really important to take good angles and cut the ball off,” he said.

Manager Bob Brenly also mentioned having infielders playing deep and using the turf to their advantage in bouncing throws across the diamond.

“We'll address all of it,” he said. “But there's not going to be any substitute for going out there and playing. It's going to be an adjustment.”

FINLEY RETURNS

After sitting out 6 1/2 games because of a sore right hamstring, Steve Finley returned Thursday as Arizona's designated hitter.

“He has really no limitations at this point,” Brenly said. “But because of the big outfield here, we'd rather have guys that we're absolutely, positively sure have no limitations running down balls in the outfield.”

Finley went 0-for-1 with a walk before Thursday's game was rained out. Brenly said he was not sure if Finley will play today against Minnesota lefty Johan Santana.

BLAMING BOB

Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel underwent knee surgery Thursday and blamed the injury, which could cost him six weeks, on Bank One Ballpark.

Vizquel suffered torn cartilage last Friday sliding home and scoring a run against the D-Backs.

“The dirt was terrible there,” Vizquel said Wednesday. “It was pretty soft.”

Arizona groundskeeper Grant Trenbeath was not available for comment.

SHORT HOPS

Arizona will announce a roster move today to activate reliever Mike Koplove from the disabled list.  . . . Ace Randy Johnson on Tuesday received his second injection of fluid to lubricate his right knee, on which he had arthroscopic surgery May 1. The series of three injections is usually done over 15 days, but Johnson is accelerating the process and hopes to be throwing off a mound within two weeks.  . . .

Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, suited up for some batting practice and catch Thursday afternoon. He was invited to the park by David Dellucci and Lyle Overbay, who saw Pearl Jam's concert Saturday in Phoenix. “This is one of the greatest days in my life,” Overbay said after hanging out with Vedder.  . . .

Closer Matt Mantei may see team physician Michael Lee today. Mantei, working on recovering strength in his trapezius muscle, was scheduled to join the team next week in Houston to begin throwing again. If Lee clears him to throw, Mantei could rejoin the team earlier.  . . . Between Matt Williams and Greg Swindell, Arizona will spend about $9.3 million this season on released players.

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