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Diamondbacks Spring Training Round-Up: Barajas For Backup

A one-run win over the Reds, which improved our record but didn't do much for the D-backs run differential. We look at that, the battle for back-up catcher and get early contenders for Weird Ailment and Catch of the Year.


Post-game quotes

  • "This spring I wanted to throw (the curveball) a little bit more to get that feel going into at least my last start of spring, feel better going into the first month of the season. I wanted to get my off-speed better early on."
    -- Ian Kennedy
  • "I pitched terrible. That's it. I felt good, arm felt good, just mechanics were all off Just one of those days where you can't throw strikes and you've got to make an adjustment out there, and I couldn't make it. Fastball was bouncing, I threw my changeup well, my curveball was bouncing, and you can't get by throwing all changeups. I wouldn't say it's attributed to being early in spring, it's just one of those days you can't throw strikes. It's tough to get outs when you can't throw strikes."
    -- Tyler Skaggs

  • "Hitting third is a productive place. You may have to get on. A guy can run the bases, steal and drive guys in. You like to see guys drive the ball in the gap and hit it out occasionally. He's led off for us. Today he balanced the lineup, left-right, left-right. We will move him around to find the right combination"
    -- Kirk Gibson, on Parra hitting third yesterday.

Kennedy endorses Barajas?

Rod Barajas went hitless in the game, but still has a significant offensive edge over rival Wil Nieves after the first seven games - Barajas has gone 5-for-9 with three doubles and a homer, while Nieves has... Well, he singled? And it seems Ian Kennedy also wouldn't mind if Barajas makes the team: "I like throwing to him. I like the way he catches, good target back there. You can tell he's a veteran catcher. He likes talking about what we like to do, just our approach to how we pitch. I faced him enough. I'm glad that he's not taking those big swings off me anymore. I like the relationship we have so far."

Keep your eye on the ball

One pet peeve is going to a baseball game and seeing people not paying the slightest bit of attention. As well as making me suspect they'd be better off at home, they'd probably be safer too - Adam Eaton agrees. "The number of people they hit in the stands, we see it daily. People who don’t come all the time don’t see it and they don’t realize the dangers of not sitting behind the screen or sitting and not paying attention to the game." He recalled an incident in Reno where a father behind the dugout just stopped an Eaton liner from hitting his daughter's head: "I said sorry, of course, because I didn’t mean to lace a line drive over there. But credit to him for stopping it."

Brandon McCarthy crunches numbers

As was well-recorded last year, McCarthy is a bit of a sabermetrics fan, because he "didn't want to suck at baseball any more." He also took part in a panel at the last SABR conference, with SB Nation's Rob Neyer. He took to KTAR 620 in Phoenix, to explain to Burns and Gambo the method behind his approach. "The more smart information the better... It just became less and less acceptable to me that I was just going to keep playing out my career with doing things the way I had always done them... Now that I do it, it's something that you can focus on different little things, percentages here and there that you can work in your favor."

Around baseball

  • The Rangers picked up their first Cactus League win, five-hitting the Indians in a 10-0 romp. Derek Holland went four shutout innings for them, while Jeff Baker had three of Texas's 18 hits.
  • However in episode #367 of Bizarre Injuries, Rangers; shortstop Elvis Andrus was scratched from the game due to muscle soreness in his left arm caused by a new tattoo. The tattoo "features a large face as a tribute to his late father, with crossed baseball bats underneath the face." I'm sure his father would be so proud...
  • The win leaves the Angels as the only team in the majors without a pre-season victory to their name. At the other end, Kansas City are the sole undefeated team, having gone 6-0. The Diamondbacks have the worst run differential, despite a 3-3 record, having been outscored by 21 runs.
  • It was announced today Minnesota's All-Star catcher Joe Mauer and his wife, Maddie, are expecting. Of course, it's going to be...twins. In related news, all the Arizona wives are now very, very nervous... But probably not so much as the San Francisco ladies.
  • This is insane, to the point that a lot of people don't think it's real...: