Top Prospects: Matt Stites, RHP, D-backs

PHOENIX -- As soon as he got the word that he was headed to the big leagues for the first time, D-backs reliever Matt Stites called his parents.

Of course, by the time Stites had gotten the news Wednesday night, it was 10:30 p.m. in Reno and 12:30 a.m. back where his parents were in St. Louis.

"My parents were sleeping, I had to call them twice to wake them up," Stites said. "But I think they were OK with it."

Chances are they were more than OK with their 24-year-old son getting to the Major Leagues.

Stites, who was acquired last July 31 in the deal that sent Ian Kennedy to San Diego, was 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 29 games for both Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno.

"My fastball location has been better," said Stites, the D-backs' No. 8 prospect. "I've had a few more walks than I would like to, but that was just kind of a few games; I was just kind of scatterbrained, I wasn't really focused, I guess. Fastball command has been there and my slider has come along the last two or three weeks, so that's been very helpful for me."

He made his debut with the D-backs in the eighth inning of Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Brewers, retiring two of the three batters he faced.

Campana optioned to Reno day after walk-off hit

MIL@ARI: Campana walks off in the 9th with a single

PHOENIX -- Game-winning hit one day, headed to Triple-A the next. Baseball can be a cruel game.

D-backs outfielder Tony Campana was optioned to Reno on Thursday, less than 12 hours after his walk-off single up the middle downed the Brewers on Wednesday night.

With outfielder Ender Inciarte expected to be activated off the concussion disabled list Friday, which probably would have ticketed Campana for Triple-A anyway, the team decided to do it Thursday and have an extra pitcher -- Matt Stites -- in the bullpen.

"He's been a guy that's been there in Triple-A when we needed him, and we have confidence in him in that role," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Campana.

Prior to his game-winning hit, Campana had just one hit in his previous 42 big league at-bats.

"I emphasized to him hitting the ball on the ground more," Gibson said of his meeting Thursday with Campana. "Right now, if you watch how everyone bunt defends people, they come way, way in and it really opens up that 5-6 hole for him, so if he could learn to get it down there, it would put a lot of pressure on them."

Gregorius makes first career start at hot corner

MIL@ARI: Gregorius dives to snag a liner to third

PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he would do whatever he could to get Didi Gregorius in the lineup.

On Thursday, that meant starting Gregorius at third base for the first time in his professional career. In fact, Gregorius had not played at the hot corner since high school.

"He's been working out there for weeks now," Gibson said. "He's got really good hands and the arm for it."

Gregorius is a shortstop by trade, but he began playing some second base this year with Triple-A Reno, and Gibson has put Gregorius at second base in the lineup for three of his nine starts this year.

"I'm looking forward to playing any position on the field, so I'm good," Gregorius said. "It's kind of the same as short, but it's just more reaction at third base, so you have to be quicker in a game."

Gibson also said Gregorius might move around even more in the future.

"I've had him shagging in center field as well," Gibson said.