Tuesday scribblings from D-backs camp
Here are a few notes from today:
Well, what do you know, the sun came out today in Arizona and it actually felt like Spring Training again. With that in mind, here are some notes from today:
— I’ll write more in detail about this in the next few days, but closer Chad Qualls has looked very good so far this spring from a health standpoint and that’s great news for the D-backs.
Qualls dislocated his left knee at the end of August and eventually had to have surgery. He puts a lot of pressure and torque on his left leg in his delivery and so far it has given him no problems this spring.
It usually takes Qualls a little while to get going during camp, but GM Josh Byrnes said today, “He looks sharp right now.”
— Found out something interesting about Rule 5 draftee Zach Kroenke. Since this is the second year in a row as a Rule 5 pick (last year the Marlins took him and sent him back to the Yankees in March) the his situation is different than most Rule 5ers.
If the D-backs decide to take him off the 25-man roster at some point this year and he clears waivers he can choose to become a free agent rather than be offered back to the Yankees as is the case with most Rule 5 picks.
— Speaking of rules and contracts, none of the D-backs non-roster invitees have opt-out clauses in their contracts that would allow them to be free agents if they do not make the team. That includes veteran Rodrigo Lopez who is a candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
— D-backs manager A.J. Hinch is anxious for Wednesday’s first full-squad workout. There’s been so much buildup about the fresh start and what it means coming on the heels of last season that Hinch said it will finally feel real when the whole club is in place.
Would like to be a fly on the wall for his talk to the team Wednesday as he said he is going to try and set the tone for the season.
— Each camp there’s a player that seems to generate buzz. Early in camp this year it’s left-hander Jordan Norberto who has drawn praise from both Byrnes and Hinch.
Judging by the way the staff has been talking about Norberto he could see time at the big league level this year if he is able to harness is outstanding mid-to-upper 90s fastball.