PHOENIX -- Having started their season in Australia before 28 other teams got underway, the D-backs have some extra off days during the month of May.
The D-backs had the first three Thursdays of the month off, and they will also get Monday off before a six-game road trip.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has used the off-days as a way of giving some players two days off in a row, like when he gave second baseman Aaron Hill a day off right before a scheduled off-day for the team.
In other cases, Gibson has used the off-days to keep playing regulars like catcher Miguel Montero and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Outfielder Cody Ross was out of the starting lineup Friday night in favor of Ender Inciarte. After coming alive during the series against the White Sox in Chicago, Ross has gone 0-for-10. The veteran is still working his way back after dislocating and fracturing his right hip in August.
"Cody's going to play [Saturday]," Gibson said. "Just trying to find a good mix with Cody. Trying to get him to play enough to try and figure it out, and not play him too much to worry. I want to try to get him to progress with his injury."
The talk of off-days led to a funny exchange between Gibson and the media prior to Friday's game when he mentioned that he might give outfielder Gerardo Parra Saturday off.
Gibson was reminded that Saturday is Gerardo Parra Bobblehead Night.
"Well, he can sign bobbleheads," Gibson said with a smile. "I haven't made up the lineup for tomorrow yet, but I don't make up a lineup based upon whether they have a bobblehead day, believe it or not."
Ziegler racking up appearances early
PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler saw his scoreless-innings streak come to an end at 18 1/3 on Wednesday afternoon, when he allowed four runs in one-third of an inning.
While the streak got some attention, Ziegler was unaware of it.
"One thing I couldn't have told you was anywhere close to how many games or how many innings," Ziegler said. "I had no idea."
What he did know was that the D-backs had been playing better.
"That was what I was more focused on, because it was fun to come to the ballpark when we were winning," Ziegler said. "It was tough the whole month of April, but we got things turned around a little bit and we started having a little more fun at the field, and so that was what I noticed.
Ziegler has been called on often this year, leading the National League in appearances with 24.
"I knew I was throwing a lot," Ziegler said. "I couldn't tell you how many games, but it felt like I was pitching twice a series for a while. It might have caught up to me a little bit, I don't know. I didn't feel that bad out there, but just watching video I don't think my pitches had the same action on them that they had the previous couple of weeks. So having [Thursday] off was good for my body."
D-backs Minor Leaguer gets 50-game ban for PEDs
PHOENIX -- D-backs Minor Leaguer pitcher Argeny Hiciano was suspended 50 games without pay Friday for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Hiciano tested positive for metabolites of Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.
Hiciano, who is currently on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Diamondbacks, will begin serving his suspension at the start of the 2014 DSL season later this summer.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.