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Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson uses off days ‘smartly'

Arizona Diamondbacks' Aaron Hill, right, is congratulated by manager Kirk Gibson, center, and Alan Trammell after Hill drove in both runs in the Diamondbacks' 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres in a baseball game Friday, May 2, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

PHOENIX -- It's a double-edged sword, really.

In a 162-game season, off days are a must, but having too many of them in a confined period of time makes it tough on a manager.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have had three off days so far in May with a fourth off day scheduled coming up on Monday.

"It's the way it goes, the way the schedule goes," Kirk Gibson said. "We played a lot before then and we were two-to-three games more than anybody before then. You just try to utilize them smartly."

The D-backs have played more games, 43, than any other team in baseball -- helped obviously by the two-games played in Australia to begin the season.

There are four D-backs players who rank among the top 10 in games played with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt doing his best Lou Gehrig impersonation. In other words, he has yet to miss a game this season.

The trick, according to Gibson, is keeping the players fresh.

"These guys have played a lot of games," he said pointing to Aaron Hill, Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado, each of whom has played 42 games. "Probably going to try and give them multiple days off within a week coming up."

Miguel Montero may also see his name out of the lineup here soon. He's played 40 games, more than any other catcher in baseball.

Gibson hinted at perhaps giving Parra a day off on Saturday, though that happens to be Parra's bobblehead day.

"Well, he can sign bobbleheads," Gibson said, before adding with smile, "I don't make up a lineup based upon whether they're having a bobblehead day or not, believe it or not."

The Diamondbacks had better take full advantage of the off days. After Monday, they play 33 games in 34 days, including a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

"(An off day) allows you to do a little bit extra (the next day)," Gibson said. "When you're playing every single day and you're getting one day off every 20, 21 days, it's hard to do extra work and work on some things. We had (Alfredo) Marte out there today working on a little glove work. Those guys were hitting; all the bullpens and everything, so that's the advantage of them."

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