Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

2/6/14: A few thoughts

A few thoughts from report day…

– They really shouldn’t call it report day, because the pitchers and catchers don’t actually have to show up at Salt River Fields. They simply need to check in to say they are in town.

In addition, almost all the guys — even position players — have been working out at the complex for days if not weeks.

– Speaking of which, the quote of the day on that subject came from pitcher Brandon McCarthy: “It’s just good because in the last month is when you start to hit that boredom point of you’re done with the offseason, you’re sick of your loved ones, you want to get out of your house, you kind of want to get back at some competitive outlet.”

– And while we’re on the subject of McCarthy, his comments about the determination in the clubhouse this spring really jumped out at me. You can read them here.

Look every team sounds optimistic during Spring Training especially early in camp, but this sounded different, there was an intensity and specificity about what needed to change that caught my attention.

Maybe it means nothing, but in listening to McCarthy and then to manager Kirk Gibson later, it seemed like things are quite different than they were last year.

Here’s a link to today’s notebook with information on the closer competition, Mark Trumbo’s signing and Henry Blanco.

– The D-backs will go out to stretch and begin Friday’s first workout at 9:30 and they will be on the field until close to noon.

– All spring long workouts are free and open to the public. Fans can park in the Desert Parking Lot.

– For photos, schedule updates and news throughout the spring, follow me on Twitter.

44 days until opener in Sydney
53 days until opener vs. Giants at Chase Field
234 days until the end of the 2014 regular season

What to expect today

Today is report day for D-backs pitchers and catchers so I wanted to give a quick rundown of what you can expect today on the site and at the ballpark:

Pitchers and catchers will  not necessarily be there today: Report day is a bit misleading, because all players have to do to “report” is to call the organization and let it know they are in town. Pitchers and catchers don’t have to be at the ballpark until Friday when the workouts start.

Nothing to see here: That means there’s a good chance there won’t be any activities out on the fields. Now, that being said, there are players who have been working out at the complex for months so I’m not sure if they will be there or not, but your best bet is to come out Friday.

Site content today: They will open the clubhouse to the media mid-morning today, but there is no guarantee there will be any players to talk to. However, Kirk Gibson will be meeting with us at 11 a.m. so you can check back this afternoon for his thoughts as camp opens.

Arroyo watch: As always, we’ll be on top of whatever breaking news there is throughout the day. The D-backs are planning on meeting with Arroyo (not sure when) but it’s something we’ll keep an eye out today and going forward.

Workout times this spring: I will try and have the blog updated daily during the spring, but your best bet for staying on top workout times and any changes to them will be to follow me on twitter.

Spring Training preview: Here’s my preview of the D-backs as they head into Spring Training.

 

Matt Williams suffers broken foot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — D-backs third base coach Matt Williams said he has a broken right foot, the result of being hit by a ball during a soft toss drill.

Williams was spotted limping between practice fields Wednesday with a walking boot on his right leg.

The incident occurred he said a couple of days ago. How long it will prevent him from coaching third base is unknown.

This will be Williams first year coaching third base in the Majors.

Gibson talks about rules, roster

28 days until Opening Day

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Kirk Gibson had a lot of really interesting things to say during his media sessions with us Thursday in Peoria that I didn’t have a place for in my stories. Here’s some of what he had to say…

– On whether guys were starting to make a push for spots on the roster: “The book is just starting. I don’t think we’re close to a point where we could even make a good calculated decision.”

– There has been a lot of talk this spring and even over the winter about Gibson’s rules about cell phone use and the banning of pellet guns and the like in the clubhouse.

It seems to be a subject that Gibson is getting tired of revisiting.

“I don’t think I’ve been tough at all,” he said of his rules. “I think I’ve been fair. We just kind of said there are certain things we want to abide by and do. It’s not a big deal, it’s just like business as usual.”

Gibson also has emphasized that the rules were decided on after consultation with managing general partner Ken Kendrick, president/CEO Derrick Hall, GM Kevin Towers and his coaching staff.

“These are not just my rules,” Gibson said. “We sat down as an organization and talked about some important things. We had a lot of conversations, people had input and we sat there and said this is what we’re going to go with. Once the decision was made we moved on.”

It doesn’t sound like guys will be having their cell phones ringing in the clubhouse.

“You’re talking to somebody in the clubhouse, your phone rings and you go get it, I think it’s rude No. 1,” Gibson said. “Other people are having a conversation next to you and phones are going off, I don’t like it. It just gets to be too much for me. When we’re in here it’s pretty much a baseball environment let’s focus on that if you need to make a call just walk outside and make a call.”

– As much as Gibson has refrained from talking about the past, he did let a little slip near the end of his talk about rules and cell phones when he talked about preparing for games differently: “We definitely need to do a better job because the way we did do it sure in the heck didn’t work.”

– Sparky Anderson was obviously a big influence on Gibson and he quoted him when talking about privileges for his players.

“Sparky taught us a long time ago, you start with nothing and you earn everything,” he said.

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Looks like Zach Duke will pitch down in Tucson during Monday’s split squad game with Aaron Heilman working the game against the Royals in Surprise.

Wednesday notes — Heilman could make things interesting

30 days until Opening Day

A couple of random thoughts as I sit in the press box at Scottsdale Stadium waiting for the start of the second game of this split-squad, day-night doubleheader…

– Aaron Heilman could really make the decisions about the backend of the rotation very interesting.

It’s been widely assumed that Zach Duke and Armando Galarraga have the inside track for the final two spots with Barry Enright and Heilman on the outside looking in. That’s simply because of the money owed to Duke and the fact that Enright has Minor League options and Heilman could easily slide back into the bullpen.

But Heilman signed here because he was promised a fair shot at the rotation and if he keeps putting up zeroes (he threw three perfect innings today to run his spring total to five) it is going to be tough to deny him that.

– D-backs manager Kirk Gibson has maintained that first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is “in the mix” at first base, but it has been hard to believe that the organization would rush him like that given that he has not played above the Class A level.

Gibson came close to admitting just that today after Goldschmidt pinch-hit and drove in two more runs with a single.

“Probably not,” Gibson said about the likelihood of Goldschmidt making the club out of Spring Training. “But I don’t really look at it that way. I look at it that we’re trying to develop depth as well. We can’t predict what may happen, who might get hurt. If there’s some guys that go back to the Minor Leagues from here we want them to have great confidence, we want them to shore their game up. We want them to know how we want to do it up here, the things that are important to the Diamondbacks and go down there and be leaders. People can move fast.”

Certainly Goldschmidt has opened some eyes with his strong showing thus far.

“From the first day I saw him swing he’s made several adjustments,” Gibson said. “His swing is shorter and he’s staying on the ball. We’ll see if he can do it all spring.”

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D-backs will finally leave the City of Scottsdale for a game Thursday when they travel to Peoria to take on the Padres. I’ll catch up with you there.

Breakfast with Miggy

43 days until Opening Day
8 days until first Spring Training game

Greetings from Salt River Fields where the D-backs will be on field practicing from 9:30-11:50 a.m. this morning and signing autographs as they start to filter off the field around 11:20 a.m.

The work, though, gets started long before 9:30 here. Manager Kirk Gibson has been known to get here as early as 5 a.m. and his coaches are not that far behind him. I showed up around 7 today and there were players who had been here for a while already and gotten in their morning warm up workout.

Something I noticed a couple of days ago was Miguel Montero walking around with a little tray of food. It looked like one of those frozen dinners.

Finally had to ask him about it today and it turns out he is working at improving his eating so he has meals specially prepared and shipped to him. As he headed in to heat up his breakfast he allowed me to snap a quick picture (see the bottom of this post).

Doesn’t look like a lot of food for a guy Miggy’s size, but what I know about nutrition you could fit in a thimble.

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In case you missed this story yesterday, you might want to take a peek at Kelly Johnson’s quotes about last season. Sounds like the second baseman was pretty unhappy with the mood in the clubhouse and the team’s mental approach last year.

Seems to speak to the reason the organization felt the culture in the clubhouse had to be changed this year.

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Good morning from Salt River Fields

44 days until Opening Day
9 days until first Spring Training game

OK, so when I said this blog was going to be updated daily, I didn’t anticipate having a computer virus that knocked me offline for a number of hours last night.

With that in mind, here is a bonus morning post from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick…

Forgot to post these photos from Monday. It appears that Barry Enright is getting quite a bit of support from his Chandler neighbors. Enright got into his car early Monday to head to the first pitcher/catcher workouts and was surprised to see these signs up in his ***-de-sac.

“It really meant a lot to me that they would do that,” Enright said of his neighbors. “It’s a great block, I have fun playing with the kids, just really good people and that they would do this for me really means a lot.”
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Zavada expected to return to camp

The agent for Clay Zavada says he expects the D-backs left-hander to be back in camp Tuesday or Wednesday.

Zavada did not show up for the club’s physical exams Sunday night and was not in attendance at the club’s first pitcher and catcher workout Monday.

Zavada’s agent, Barry Meister, said that Zavada experienced some discomfort in his shoulder and that was the reason for his absence.

“He just needed a couple of days to figure out what was going on with his shoulder,” Meister said.

Meister said that Zavada was going to see either the team’s training staff or team physician Michael Lee about his shoulder Tuesday and that he had talked to manager Kirk Gibson about his situation.

Notes from first pitcher catcher workout

46 days until Opening Day in Denver
11 days until first Spring Training game

Another beautiful day for baseball at Salt River Fields with temperatures again around 80 degrees and bright blue skies.

We’ve been told that players will be signing autographs each day around 11:50 a.m. local time. The club has gone out of its way to make sure fans are able to get up close with the players on the pathways between the fields. I also noticed today that the main stadium was open for fans to walk around and take a look at.

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Today’s stories:

Notes: Hudson healthy; Heilman eyes starting

Camp Gibby opens

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Turns out GM Kevin Towers misspoke Sunday when he said Zach Duke would be late to camp because his wife was due to give birth to the couple’s first child any day now.

Duke’s wife Kristin gave birth last Wednesday so Duke was there and threw a bullpen Monday.

You have to feel for him leaving his 3-day-old child behind to get on a plane for Arizona, but that’s sometimes what ballplayers have to go through as part of the job. For now, he will have to make do with Skype, something he says he’s been doing three times a day to see his baby Madison.

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Clay Zavada’s absence from camp seemed to catch everyone by surprise. Still not exactly sure what’s going on there. Towers said he had heard something about Zavada maybe not wanting to go “through this again” whatever that means.

When I talked to Zavada a couple of weeks ago he sounded pretty excited about the season so I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s something I’ll continue to follow and keep you updated.

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Seemed like there might be some progress on the Kelly Johnson front. The two sides have until Wednesday’s salary-arbitration hearing to reach a settlement.

Johnson’s agent is now in town and the dialogue has picked up between the two sides.

“Dialogue is better than no dialogue and over the last 48 hours we’ve had a lot more dialogue than we’ve had in the last two weeks so I look at that as a good sign,” Towers said.

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Catcher Miguel Montero made some interesting comments about the culture change in the clubhouse with the influx of veterans and Kirk Gibson taking over for A.J. Hinch as manager.

“The last two years we’ve been losing 90 games, and it seems like nothing happened,” said Montero. “I don’t think that is going to happen again. If we lose again, everybody is going to know that we lost a game. I think that’s what it means. And I like that idea, because I hate to lose. Period.”

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That’s all for today. I’ll be back at it bright and early Tuesday. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @dbackswriter.

Nothing new this morning on Johnson front

D-backs GM Kevin Towers said this morning there is nothing new to report on the Kelly Johnson arbitration front, though dialogue is expected to pick up in the next 24 hours as Johnson’s agent is now in Phoenix.

The two sides will go to a hearing Wednesday if a settlement cannot be reached.

The D-backs filed an arbitration offer of $4.7 million while Johnson’s side filed at $6.5 million. The second baseman made $2.35 million last season.

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