CHICAGO -- Stephen Drew is beginning to heat up at the plate, but more importantly, his surgically-repaired right ankle seems to be holding up just fine.
Drew missed the final two-plus months of the 2011 season after fracturing the ankle, and he did not return to action until June 27 this year.
"The ankle is doing well and I haven't had any problems, so it's come along well," Drew said.
On the team's homestand before the break, Drew was 3-for-13 (.231), but felt he was swinging the bat better than the results indicated.
In his first two games of this series with the Cubs, he was 3-for-7 (.429) with a pair of doubles. Manager Kirk Gibson put him in the cleanup spot for Sunday's finale.
"Just trying to get in good counts and good situations to drive the ball," Drew said. "At home I didn't have nothing to show for it, but I felt like I was having good plate appearances and hitting the ball good, so that's all you can do. You can't worry about the outcome, even though it gets a little frustrating when you're hitting the ball good and they get caught."
Long layoff between starts not worrying Bauer
CHICAGO -- When Trevor Bauer takes the mound Tuesday against the Reds, the right-hander will be starting on eight days' rest.
It can be difficult sometimes for starting pitchers to stay sharp with that kind of a layoff, but Bauer might be uniquely suited to doing it given that just a little more than a year ago he was still in college starting once a week for UCLA.
"Ten days off, a month off -- whatever," Bauer said. "I still have the same routine. As long as I get on the mound and my mechanics are in sync, I don't see a problem."
Bauer actually took two days off from throwing during the All-Star break. How rare is that? It was just the second and third days he has not thrown this year. Not this season, but this calendar year. Yes, Bauer throws a lot.
After two subpar starts to begin his Major League career, Bauer tossed a gem against the Dodgers on the Sunday before the break. He said that he never doubted that the success would come.
"I'm not focused on really the results, I'm focused on the process of what I need to do to succeed and get guys out," he said. "I can get guys out wherever I play -- I know that -- if my mechanics are in order and I execute my pitches."
Pitching may be the easiest adjustment that Bauer has made since coming to the big leagues a few weeks ago.
"There's a lot of stuff, there's the written rules and all the unwritten rules," Bauer said. "I'm trying to learn all those and avoid as many pitfalls as I can."
Bauer's teammates told him not to sign autographs when he's between the white lines during batting practice, and he was reminded when it was acceptable to take the team bus to the ballpark and when he should take a cab over on his own earlier.
Bauer clarifies remarks made on Twitter
CHICAGO -- Trevor Bauer enjoys signing autographs for fans, but the D-backs' rookie was a little miffed Saturday when he was surrounded by fans at the team's downtown hotel.
"Appreciate the fan support, but it's not appreciated when a bunch of people crowd in front of me and won't let me walk coming out of the hotel," he wrote on Twitter.
The tweet got plenty of responses -- some of which were not complimentary -- and Bauer explained Sunday what he was trying to say.
"All I ask is to be treated respectfully like any other human being would," he said. "I have no problem signing with fans or interacting with fans -- I enjoy doing that -- [except] when stuff is shoved in my face and I'm not even asked. Or they just shove a pen or paper in my face and there's five or six people in front of me where I can't even walk. ... I ended up missing a tour I was going on because I got delayed at the hotel.
"I found the way I was approached disrespectful, that's why I said something. I take time out of my day to make sure I do sign, because when I was a young kid I enjoyed the players who signed for me."
Bauer has over 12,000 Twitter followers (@BauerOutage) and despite some unflattering things tweeted to or about him, he does not plan on abandoning his account any time soon.
"I try to use Twitter as more of a way to interact with fans who have intelligent questions about baseball," he said. "It's hard to see those questions without seeing the other stuff."