A condensed version of an old Abbott and Costello routine can sum up the Diamondbacks' first base situation. Who's on first? I don't know.
But none has done it regularly, as manager Kirk Gibson mixes and matches in an attempt to find the best way to integrate them into the position held in 2010 by Adam LaRoche, who signed with Washington as a free agent after hitting 25 home runs in 2010.
None has started as many as half the games. Miranda is batting .228 in 14 starts, while Branyan is at .240 in 10 starts and Nady is hitting .244 in nine entering the D-backs' off day Monday.
The group has two home runs and 10 RBI, and Miranda also has a home run as a pinch-hitter, as the Braves rank 15th in the NL in both categories. Thanks to Miranda's 11 walks, their on-base percentage and OPS are in the middle of the pack.
Miranda, obtained in an offseason trade with the New York Yankees, started four consecutive games before pinch-hitting Sunday, the first D-backs' first baseman to start four in a row this season.
He had a home run and a double among his four hits while also walking four times. Nady was signed ostensibly to play left field, but he has not played there in the regular season after showing diminished arm strength in the outfield this spring.
Gibson said he wants to settle on a starter, but has not been able to isolate one yet. He also said he does not believe the intermittent playing time should have an effect on performance.
"It's everybody's responsibility to be ready to play and make the most of your opportunities," Gibson said. "It's a long season. I think if somebody would use that as an excuse, that's not the type of player I'm looking for."
"I think people should cherish whatever challenge is posed to them. I'm not looking for alibi-makers, excuse-makers. I know it's tough. I understand, too. The thing about it is, you work hard, you keep your mouth shut and you wait for your turn. Things have a way of happening. People get hurt, people get moved, you get up and you get on a roll and you earn some time.
"At this point we're not there yet. I don't look at it as a problem. Just moving around a bit right now. Everybody should be ready to play and I don't expect to hear any alibis."
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