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Arizona outfielder Byrnes penciled in for minors play

Outfielder Eric Byrnes’ return to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ lineup has been delayed a few days.

Manager Bob Melvin had thought about putting Byrnes in the lineup when the Diamondbacks play Oakland in Phoenix on Tuesday. Instead, Byrnes will play in a minor league game.

“He wanted to play, I wanted him to play, but it’s probably the smart thing to do to make sure we cover all the bases before he gets out on the field,” manager Bob Melvin said before the D’backs played Colorado on Monday.

Melvin said the fact that Byrnes had yet to play in the outfield in a game situation was one consideration.

Byrnes, recovering from hamstring injuries that sidelined him for all but 52 games last season, said he understood.

“It’s not like I’m not playing, I’m just playing here. I would have liked to have gone up to Phoenix but I think the biggest thing is they want to keep me in a more controlled environment until probably after the off day,” Byrnes said.

The Diamondbacks have Thursday off, and Melvin said Byrnes could play Friday when they face the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe.

“It makes sense,” Byrnes said. “I’m just anxious to be out there, but I think the best thing is to totally listen to the trainers at this point. It’s been a nine-month process so I put my trust in them and I have no problem with it.”

Byrnes saw his first game action in a minor league contest on Sunday. He went 3 for 5 with a walk. He also stole a base and tested the hamstring further when he had to tag up and advance in another situation.



• Diamondbacks vs. White Sox, 1:05 p.m., Tucson Electric Park; • Rockies vs. Royals, 1:10 p.m., Hi Corbett Field

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