PHOENIX -- With his team in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days and coming off a disheartening sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson did not have his team take batting practice before Thursday night's game with the Brewers.
So when the D-backs went out and beat Milwaukee, 5-3, to snap their losing streak, Gibson had them once again skip on-field batting practice and report to the ballpark later than usual Friday.
While most players still took pregame swings in the indoor batting cage, not having to be there early and hit on the field was a welcome respite during the grind of the season.
"I think sometimes BP can be a little overrated," veteran outfielder Cody Ross said. "Obviously it helps just to go out there and get loose and get the blood flowing. That's basically what I use it for, just to get loose. Any time that I want to work on my swing, I try to do it in the cage as opposed to during BP."
The later arrival time also drew smiles.
"It can definitely help rejuvenate a little bit," Ross said. "You get excited when you hear no BP, because it just gets so routine-oriented in this game. You can spend a little more time at home."
Gibson wants bullpen roles settled for second half
PHOENIX -- Just under three hours before his team's game with the Brewers on Friday, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was uncertain who would serve as closer that night should a save situation arise.
When the D-backs reassemble in San Francisco to open the second half of the season next Friday, Gibson wants that to no longer be an issue.
"As we go into the second half, I'd hope that I would have at least [eighth-inning] and [ninth-inning] guys, and then you use your other guys to get there," Gibson said.
If he continues to improve, look for J.J. Putz to be the ninth-inning guy when the second half starts. Putz continues to look better as he builds arm strength again after being on the disabled list from May 8 until June 29.
"We'll just watch the way he throws when he throws, how well he bounces back," Gibson said of Putz. "We don't really want to continue go on and have one guy on one night and another guy on another night. I think in general when you have roles and everyone understands their roles that helps and lends to more consistency."
Cahill upbeat after throwing bullpen session
PHOENIX -- D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill threw 20 pitches during a bullpen session Thursday and said it went well.
"I felt pretty good," Cahill said. "It's the first time I've taken multiple days off during the season, so it's kind of been a little slower coming back. I threw 20 fastballs and I was kind of tired."
Cahill has been on the disabled list since July 1 with a right hip contusion, but he experienced some discomfort in his shoulder earlier last week after playing catch.
The shoulder soreness has gone away Cahill said, and it sounds like his hip is coming around.
"It never hurt right away," Cahill said of the hip. "It was just like when I sat down and got up it would just cramp up kind of."
D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said Thursday that it looked like Cahill might not be able to return until early August.
"I have no idea," Cahill said on when he might return. "I'm just building back up and working on some things and hopefully the health is there so I can finish better than I started."
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.