Eye Catching

Typical of the first few days of Spring Training when pitchers are throwing their bullpen sessions, D-backs manager Bob Melvin was asked about which pitchers caught his eye on Sunday.

Among those the skipper mentioned were Juan Gutierrez, Daniel Schlereth, Billy Buckner and Kyler Newby.

Gutierrez is out of Minor League options and needs to have a big camp if he is to make his way onto the Opening Day roster. He had a tough year for Triple-A Tucson last season, but pitched well this winter. Stuff has never been an issue with him, but there are scouts that feel hitters get too good of a look at the ball coming out of his hand.

Newby is a guy who has had to work for everything he has gotten. A 50th-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, he was the organization’s Player of the Month for June last year when he had a 0.66
ERA and six saves in nine games. He went 4-3 with a 2.69 ERA with 16
saves in 46 appearances for Class A Visalia.

Schlereth was the team’s first pick in last year’s Draft out of the University of Arizona and received plenty of attention on Sunday from the local media here.

“He’s a guy you can see what all the talk has been about,” Melvin said.

Buckner, who is one of the main competitors for the final spot on the pitching staff, started work last week on a cut fastball. The hope is that it will be a pitch that complements his sinker and serve as a weapon to keep left-handed hitters honest. The pitch runs in on lefties, which is the opposite of what his two-seamer does.

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