36 days until Opening Day
Spring Training has a predictable rhythm.
For the first week or so of camp everyone feels good just to be back out on the field and see teammates they haven’t seen in a while. Soon they grow weary of the repetitive drills and facing their teammates in live batting practice and there is an anxiousness for Spring Training games to get underway.
That’s where we are right now.
The D-backs will kick off Cactus League play tomorrow against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium.
The players have been absolutely giddy about the new digs at Salt River Fields and Thursday they took their first round of batting practice in the main stadium.
There has been a big emphasis on pickoff moves in drills during camp and D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is counting on his pitchers to show what they’ve learned when the spring games begin.
“Just do it, it’s fine,” Gibson said. “You just trained for two weeks on it, just use it in the game, just do it, just execute it just like you did out there on the back diamond. I talked to the guys a lot about just controlling the tempo and their mind. There’s no reason to panic, they’re very capable people, there’s no pressure.”
Brandon Allen will primarily see time at first base this spring as he battles Juan Miranda and Russell Branyan for the starting job, but Gibson said he will also give Allen some time in left field.
Top prospect Jarrod Parker, who is making his way back from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to pitch Monday.