#Dbacks Josh Booty throwing a knuckleball during his bullpen session Saturday morning - @SteveGilbertMLB, via Twitter
Another day of busy baseball action. The main D-backs squad travel to take on Oakland at Phoenix Muni, there's an interesting B-squad game, and we'll be going to Chase for the USA-Canada, loser goes home, WBC match-up.
Let's start at Phoenix Muni, where the bulk of the Diamondbacks team will be looking to build on the offensive momentum generated by the first double-digit run total of the year. Here's the line-up for that one:
- Adam Eaton CF
- Cliff Pennington SS
- A.J. Pollock RF
- Paul Goldschmidt DH
- Eric Hinske 1B
- Matt Davidson 3B
- Brad Snyder LF
- Rod Barajas C
- Josh Wilson 2B
+ pitchers Tyler Skaggs, Charles Brewer, Eury De la Rosa, Bo Schultz, Joe Paterson, Garrett Mock and Starling Peralta
If you don't want to go that far, over on the back fields at Salt River, you'll be able to see Ian Kennedy and J.J. Putz throwing in a B-game against some Giants. And, perhaps most intriguingly, knuckler Josh Booty will pitch in a game situation for the first time since high-school. This is the result of his victory in the MLB Network reality show, The Next Knuckler,, which got him an invite to spring training, and he does seem to have been working to try and improve. Reports have had his fastball touching 90 mph, but it's the knuckleball which is of most interest. This will be the next test, and a measure to see if he's developing towards a "genuine" spring-training game.
Said manager Kirk Gibson, "His last bullpen was really good."I talked to him last week, Charley (pitching coach Charles Nagy) and I, to see where he was mentally. We watched him throw his bullpen, and he's ready for this part. We're kind of just progressing him along." Of course, we shouldn't forget that he remains, technically, a Marlin, and I've little doubt that even if he's half-decent, Florida will come in and take him away from us. Never mind The Next Knuckler, let's just hope he doesn't become The Next Dan Uggla...
We'll be at neither place, instead going to Chase Field for the World Baseball Classic contest between Canada and the United States, which hopefully will not be such a fractious affair as the contest there yesterday. There is a lot at stake, because the resolution is quite simple. Whoever wins, moves on to the next round; whoever loses, sees their WBC campaign end. We'll be hanging out outside the Rose and Crown (hence the early posting!), as there's about 20-25 in the SnakePitPack for this event, so feel free to drop by and say hello to us. If it's as good as the last America-Canada game at Chase Field, we'll be quite happy,