Here are a few notes on this beautiful Sunday morning…
– Conor Jackson was possibly heading over to Minor League camp to get some extra at-bats. I talked to him just before batting practice and he said whether he did so or not would depend on how his BP session went.
I’ll have more on his struggles this spring in a story later on.
– Manager Bob Melvin fielded questions about Mark Reynolds defense on Sunday. The third baseman has committed six errors in Cactus League games this spring and one against Team Mexico, which led a reporter to ask Melvin if he would replace Reynolds with Augie Ojeda for defensive purposes late in games.
It sure sounded like Melvin would be hesitant to do that at least early in the season because of the impact it could have on Reynolds’ confidence. I mentioned earlier this spring and I’ll say it again, I think the biggest challenge for Reynolds this year is going to be mental.
“He’s been a little bit hit and miss,” Melvin said of Reynolds at third this spring. “I moreso look for if he does make an error how he reacts to that. How does he handle the next ball?”
– Tony Clark was back in the lineup on Sunday after missing a few days with a sore right hand. Melvin said he would probably limit Clark to hitting right-handed on Sunday and hopefully have him in the lineup again on Monday.
Clark has swung the bat very well this spring compiling a .375 average with four doubles and a homer. If he can once again be the late-inning threat off the bench that he was from 2005-07 that would certainly be a big boost for the D-backs.
– Speaking of swinging a good bat, Chad Tracy has looked good all spring. On Saturday he did a nice job going to other way against a left-hander.
– Stephen Drew (abdominal strain) was back in the starting lineup on Sunday.
– There is plenty of debate inside the organization as to whether they will carry 11 or 12 pitchers to start the season.
Melvin has tended to like having seven pitchers in the bullpen, which usually means a 12-man staff, but with Max Scherzer set to begin the year on the DL, the club could still have seven relievers with just 11 men on the staff.