First game at Salt River Fields

Good Morning from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick just a few hours away from the facilities first game.

How new are things here? You can still smell fresh paint up here in the press box.

Here is a look at the D-backs starting lineup for today: Johnson 2b, Parra rf, Drew ss, Young cf, Blum 3b, Pena lf, Miranda 3, Blanco 2 and Heilman p.

Other pitchers scheduled to throw today: Zach Duke, Mike Hampton, Juan Gutierrez, Micah Owings, Jordan Norberto and Brian Sweeney.

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A couple of notes from yesterday’s opener against the Giants…

— Outfielder Justin Upton had a nice day at the plate going 2-for-3.

“I just ran into a couple of balls,” Upton said. “I was just trying to get a good look at some pitches.”

— A lot was made of Xavier Nady’s trouble throwing yesterday, but he did hit a nice opposite-field homer.

“It just feels good to be back in the swing of things,” Nady said. “It felt good to be out there and get some reps and get some serious at-bats and then go from there.”

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It’s always fun this time of spring to see some of the organization’s younger players get their first-ever taste of facing big league hitters/pitchers.

Yesterday, highly-touted prospect Wade Miley got a chance to face Cody Ross, Pat Burrell and Pablo Sandoval, players that he watched participate in last year’s World Series.

“It’s was awesome,” said Miley, who admitted to having nerves during his first inning of work. It’s tough facing those guys after you grew up watching them. Everybody’s human, but you have to make pitches.”

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D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson said after the game that there were “some situational things we have to understand better.”

I’m assuming one of them was a baserunning gaffe by Tony Abreu, who got tagged out at third on a grounder to the hole at short. I say that I’m assuming that because Gibson declined to explain what he meant by his comment.

“I don’t want to single anybody out because it’s my job to make sure they understand it,” he said.

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Speaking of Gibson and baserunning, it sounds like he wants his guys to push the envelope this spring.

“I’d rather reel them in than have to kick them in the butt,” he said.

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Follow me on twitter at @dbackswriter

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