Diamondbacks Spring Training Round-Up [And World Baseball Classic Thread]

Norm Hall

Posting this in the middle of the night, to act as an impromptu WBC thread, for any insomniacs out there. The first game will already be in the books, but there's Japan vs. Brazil at 3am Arizona time, then Korea vs. the Netherlands at 6am. I may catch the end of that, if it doesn't get mercy-ruled.

Post-game quotes

  • "Not too bad. Just try to throw strikes and get the feel for pitching in a game again. I've had worse.The last time I threw to hitters was over a week ago and it feels like forever. I threw two or three bullpens and now facing hitters again, it just feels like it was a long time."
    -- Trevor Cahill

  • "He spots his ball well. His slider is really a good pitch for him this year. He keeps his composure and continues to make good pitches to get out of it."
    -- Kirk Gibson on Tyler Skaggs
  • "When you get rid of somebody like that, those things just seem to happen. He's been working hard in the cage on putting the bat on the ball."
    -- Gibson on Tony Campana

Skaggs trying too hard?

At FanFest, Skaggs told KTAR that he intended to pitch every appearance as if it were Game Seven of the World Series. Does that perhaps explain his struggles, which have resulted to date in very non-World Series results? Kirk Gibson seems to think so. "We’ll try to back him off of that attitude a little bit. I mean, I don’t know if he’s going to make the team or not. I encouraged him to try to make it. At the same time, he has to stay focused on the process of becoming a complete pitcher. He has to be a pitcher... But that emotion, for all of us that play the game, is something you have to deal with. You have to learn how to slow things down."

Hudson having a "boring spring"

Coming back from Tommy John, by all accounts, is largely about patience. You can't do too much too soon, or your risk undoing the slow healing. Daniel Hudson doesn't appear to be enjoying the enforced rest. "It's just a boring spring so far watching everyone do their stuff. The offseason was much easier, because I didn't have to come to the field and watch everyone else play baseball while I can't." The article also describes how he's making a couple of adjustments to his delivery, to try and reduce the stress it causes. That seems a potentially fraught endeavor: will the changes also reduce the effectiveness of those pitches? Fingers crossed on that one.

Tony Campana loves Brett Butler

Campana has an uphill struggle to make the Diamondbacks roster this spring, likely being sixth or so on the outfield depth chart, and he was hitless in his first eight at-bats. That changed today, with a double and a triple against his old team, and it appears Campana has found a mentor in Reno Aces' manager. Brett Butler. "Picking his mind has been pretty unbelievable,’ according to Campana, who said Butler was the first person to say hello to him on his arrival. "I widened out a little bit at the plate. I think it helps my bat control a little bit. So it feels pretty good." He's still an outside shot for Opening Day, but as we know, outfield depth has its uses.

Around baseball

  • Al from Bleed Cubbie Blue, takes a look at the Diamondbacks, and concludes "The D'backs probably figure to be an 86- or 87-win team. That should put them in contention for the second wild card."
  • The Angels finally got their first win, blowing out a split-squad Dodger side, 16-8 in Tempe. Josh Hamilton his first homer as a Ranger, a two-run shot in the opening inning, off Hyun-Jin Ryu.
  • Carl Crawford has nerve irritation in the same elbow that underwent surgery. He's guaranteed north of $100 million over the next five years from the Dodgers, but hasn't appeared for them since his trade from Boston last August.
  • Tweet of the day goes to Jack Magruder.

I'll maybe see you in the comments, if I need to let the SnakePit canine around 4am. Or maybe not...

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