More tidbits from Tuesday’s workout
Here are some notes from Tuesday:
— Look for James Skelton to play a number of different positions this spring. The Rule 5 pick is a natural catcher, but has spent time working in the infield over the last month with third-base coach Chip Hale here in Tucson.
Skelton will for sure play some second and also get a look in the outfield.
“We can at least try out a few things and see how he looks,” GM Josh Byrnes said.
Though he is of slight build, Skelton has already shown the staff some skills behind the plate.
“He has very soft hands, moves well and threw out about 40 percent of runners last year,” Byrnes said. “His defense behind the plate is solid.”
One of the attributes that led to Skelton’s selection in the Rule 5 Draft is his ability to get on base.
“A skill set we need,” Byrnes said.
— Max Scherzer threw a flat ground session and according to manager Bob Melvin even threw a few breaking balls.
Scherzer could throw his first bullpen this weekend, Melvin said.
— It’s best for both parties that the D-backs got a deal done with Conor Jackson before a hearing.
Jackson said all the right things this week about how he would not be bothered by what the club might say about him during a hearing, but he’s human and no one likes to hear negative things from their employer.
From the D-backs’ perspective they avoid a hearing where even if they had won they would have risked what they said in there weighing on Jackson during the year. Of course, clubs always prefer to settle before putting in all that work. Arbitration cases take an enormous amount of preparation and the D-backs were all but done with their work on the eve of the hearing.
— There will be fewer “B” games this year — maybe only one on March 4. That’s in part because the White Sox are no longer sharing the complex with the D-backs, but also because there are more spring games this year and fewer bodies once the WBC players leave on March 1.
— A happy anniversary to first-base coach Lorenzo Bundy and his lovely wife Lupita. The couple were married 18 years ago.
Lorenzo is one of the truly good guys in the game and he has worked hard and given much to get to where he is today.