Friday notes from D-backs camp
Somewhat quiet day at Tucson Electric Park on Friday with players trickling in as the day went on. The first workout for pitchers and catchers is not until Saturday so players do not have to be at TEP until that time.
Here are a few notes:
— Miguel Montero was his usual entertaining self. He spent part of the morning teasing Rusty Ryal about his play in Venezuela over the winter and also recounted for reporters his offseason travels.
I’ll definitely follow up on this at some point this spring, but Montero visited the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid.
Miggy played some first base towards the end of the Winter League season because he wanted to get in some game activity without going behind the plate. You may recall that in prior years he has injured his finger and knee while catching over the winter.
Don’t look for him to be wearing a first baseman’s glove for the D-backs any time soon, though. He said he struggled a bit over there and called the position “boring.”
— Veteran reliever Bob Howry met some of his teammates for the first time.
Interestingly for a guy that has played parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues Howry has never played with any of the D-backs players before. Of course, he pointed out that a big reason for that is that the Arizona roster is a very young one with a lot of the guys not having played for a different organization before.
When it comes to roles in the bullpen, Howry said he was told he would be able to compete for late-inning work setting up closer Chad Qualls.
D-backs manager A.J. Hinch echoed that during his meeting with the media when he said that Howry, Juan Gutierrez and Aaron Heilman were front-runners for late-inning work.
Note that late-inning work will not come in the ninth with Hinch saying again that Qualls is his closer.
— Edwin Jackson, who took over Doug Davis’ old locker in the clubhouse at TEP said he was happy to have avoided arbitration last weekend when he signed a two-year deal that will take him up to free agency after the 2011 season.
— Billy Buckner is the frontrunner for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but told us he knows he has to have a good spring in order to win it.
The key for Buckner, as always, will be for him to stay aggressive, pound the strike zone and be confident on the mound. He’s also going to continue to incorporate his cut fastball.
— Finally a funny story that Hinch told when he was asked about Jackson, who pitched for the Tigers and Jim Leyland last season.
“He told me that I just needed to put him in the rotation and go have smoke and then come back six or seven innings later,” Hinch said of Leyland a notorious smoker. “I told him I had a little problem with that — I don’t smoke.”
Will have lots more tomorrow and as always for the latest updates, follow me on Twitter.