PHOENIX -- Miguel Montero wasn't the only player in the D-backs clubhouse smiling when news broke that the catcher had landed a five-year contract extension."I think any time you've got a guy of his character and obviously his talent, you'd like to keep him around as long as possible," closer J.J. Putz said. "I'm not sure anybody was surprised that the deal eventually got done. I can speak for the other 11 pitchers in this room that he is leader of this team out there on the field." Ace right-hander Ian Kennedy discussed the possible contract with Montero during the spring, when negotiations stalled and it didn't look like a deal would get done. "I'm really happy it finally did," Kennedy said. "He's a really consistent catcher, hitter, his personality is always really consistent. Even if he's having a rough day, he's still trying to bring everybody else up. His personality is really nice to have in our clubhouse otherwise it would be pretty quiet." Said fellow starter Daniel Hudson, "I think I can speak for everyone on the pitching staff that we're all pretty happy to have him here for the long run." The pitchers not only appreciate the offense that Montero brings, but the way he handles the pitching staff. "He has a true passion for the game, and he really cares about the pitchers," Putz said. "I'm not sure there's a price you can put on that, although his was a pretty good one."
Montero remains out with groin strain
PHOENIX -- Miguel Montero was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game on Saturday, and the D-backs catcher might not return until Monday when the team opens a three-game series in San Francisco.Montero tweaked his groin during Monday's loss to the Dodgers and has been out of action since. On Saturday, Montero caught a bullpen session and took batting practice and D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said unless something changed there were no plans to put Montero on the disabled list. "He's good," Gibson said. "I'm not going to play him today, may not play him tomorrow, may wait until Monday, but he's available to pinch-hit for sure tonight."
Former D-back Ransom happy to stay in bigs
PHOENIX -- Designated for assignment on Monday, former D-backs infielder Cody Ransom didn't need to move the contents of his locker very far after all.
The Brewers claimed the 36-year-old off waivers Wednesday, and he was in a Milwaukee uniform for the first time Friday and started Saturday at Chase Field, just steps away from his old stomping grounds in the D-backs' clubhouse.
"I've been put on waivers a lot, let's put it that way," Ransom said. "But I haven't done it like this before."
With Arizona this season, Ransom batted .269 in 17 games amassing a career-high-tying four homers and 13 RBIs. The club, however, decided to go in a different direction, calling up Josh Bell and leaving Ransom as the odd man out.
The move, Ransom admitted, caught him off guard because of how well he had been playing and the increased role he'd seen on the team.
"It did, I was surprised by it," Ransom said. "It was what it was. I didn't see it coming."
Now with Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez out for the season with a torn ACL and Cesar Izturis being placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained left hamstring, Ransom figures to have a prominent role. He started at third base on Saturday, batting sixth.
Over the last two seasons in Arizona, Ransom has played a combined 10 games at shortstop. In the lineup Saturday, Ransom batted seventh and played shortstop.
"I enjoy playing there, it's what I've played basically my whole career before a few years ago," he said. "I've played there quite a big in the Minors, too."
Ransom made his first appearance for the Brewers on Friday when Izturis left the game in the seventh inning after suffering his injury. He batted twice, collecting a single off Josh Collmenter and later scoring a run when Corey Hart homered.
While many athletes would sweat out the time in purgatory between teams, Ransom, a Mesa, Ariz., native, enjoyed his days off between Monday and Friday.
"Pretty relaxing, I've just been at the house," he said. "I haven't done anything. Came in Monday, got designated, so I went home, hung out with the kids and the wife until they called me Wednesday."
The move to Milwaukee sat well with Ransom, who dreaded a return trip to the Minors. Since 1998, the 36-year-old has played 1,445 Minor League games.
"It was good, I got a job," he said. "I was in the big leagues and not going to Triple-A somewhere. We'll see how it goes. I'm just going to show up ready to play every day."