PHOENIX — There is a reason left-handed power bat Jason Kubel has not been in the starting lineup against right-handers the last two days.
Kubel recently aggravated the left quadriceps injury that landed him on the disabled list a week into the season, and the D-backs are proceeding with caution in hopes that he does not need another stay on the disabled list.
“Just trying to get over that,” Kubel said. “We decided to give it a few days rest.”
Kubel, who is hitting .269 with all three of his home runs against right-handers this season, normally would have been in the lineup against Julio Teheran and Tim Hudson the last two days, but Martin Prado was in left field Tuesday and Cody Ross was there Wednesday.
Kubel walked as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning Wednesday and stayed in to run the bases, an indication that the D-backs do not believe the injury is that serious.
After an off day in Miami on Thursday, the D-backs start a three-game series Friday against the Marlins, who are scheduled to start right-hander Kevin Slowey, a former teammate of Kubel’s in Minnesota. It is a game Kubel would normally start if healthy.
Kubel first suffered the quadriceps injury when his left leg sunk about two inches into a soft spot in the infield grass in Milwaukee as he rounded third base while scoring from second base on a wild pitch.
He played through the injury for four days — he had a pinch-hit single against Clayton Kershaw in a victory over the Dodgers here April 12 — before being placed on the disabled list the next day. He returned when Didi Gregorius was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a mild concussion on April 28.
The injury was fully healed at that time, Kubel said.
“It was ready to roll when I came back. I was 100 percent,” he said.
“Then, about a week later, I dove for a ball in the outfield and felt something. Just one of those things.”
Kubel is hitting .250 with three homers in 60 at-bats this season, and since his stay on the disabled list, he had started every game against right-handers until Tuesday. Ross and A.J. Pollock have taken the available at-bats in his place.