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SnakeBytes, 2/27: Can you hear the season approaching?

Welcome to the last weekend without a Diamondbacks game for seven months...

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[FOX Sports] Three reasons to watch the Diamondbacks in 2015 - "The Arizona Diamondbacks weren’t very good last season, which is a little like saying the moon’s not a great place for a Pizza Hut. The Diamondbacks were so not very good that some well-known people lost their jobs, and other well-known people were brought in to fix the big mess. But you can fix only so much in a few months, especially on a budget. Which is why the Diamondbacks are widely expected to finish last again this season, or maybe next to last."

[ABC15] 3 questions for the Arizona Diamondbacks heading into the spring - "Step one in recovering from a Major League-worst 64-98 season is having a healthy, progressive spring. Under new manager Chip Hale and GM Dave Stewart, the Arizona Diamondbacks will attempt to use Cactus League play to help set a different tone for the 2015 regular season."

[ArizonaSports] La Russa encouraged by talent level, excitement in Diamondbacks camp - "One of the exciting parts since the first day of camp ... has been the effort level here," La Russa told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday. "During the latter part of January and all of February, guys are coming out here and they're excited and they're putting it out there." La Russa said the D-backs had 45 players report 7 to 10 days early to camp this year, while several other teams had just 20 to 25 players report during that time frame.


[FOX Sports] GM Dave Stewart: D-backs looking at 'all possibilities' for pitching staff - "How many pitchers will the team like to carry? Twelve is Hale's ideal number and would give the team some flexibility with an extra spot given to a position player. That would add another offensive threat able to help pinch hit late in games or be included in double-switches. "For me, the 13th pitcher is the one who's ready to go in Reno," Hale said. "It's only a flight away.""

[AZ Central] Anderson might have edge for rotation spot - Right-handers Josh Collmenter and Jeremy Hellickson are regarded as the only true shoo-ins for the Diamondbacks rotation, but General Manager Dave Stewart suggested this week another pitcher might deserve to be at least tentatively included. "Chase Anderson won nine games for us last year; you have to strongly consider him as part of our rotation," Stewart said. "When you look at those three guys, those have to be guys you strongly consider."

[FOX Sports] Robbie Ray excited for new opportunity with Diamondbacks - "It's a great opportunity," said Ray, 6-foot-2 and 195. "Being traded over from Detroit, there are a whole lot of superstars in that rotation. It's going to be hard to crack. But you come over here, there are two guys who have a pretty set spots in the rotation, but other than that it is wide open. It is a really a good opportunity. I'm going to do what I can. I feel like I have a good arsenal. I feel like I have a good shot, but I'm not the one who is making the decision."


[AP] Healthy Pollock critical to any Diamondbacks success - "Uncertainty abounds in position after position for the Arizona Diamondbacks this spring. Center field isn't one of them. A.J. Pollock has that spot nailed down and he will be looking to re-start that All-Star level of performance he had before a hand injury derailed it all."

[Arizona Sports] Breathe easy, D-backs fans...Paul Goldschmidt is '100-percent healthy' - "It feels great, it's 100 percent healed. I honestly forget I even broke it. I got to have a normal offseason. I wasn't having to do any rehab, which was good. I got to take time off, start hitting normally, I didn't have to take extra swings, took less swings, or do anything different and healed 100 percent."

[FOX Sports] Fans buzz over the big bat of D-backs catcher Peter O'Brien - The catching is the question mark, but the Diamondbacks sound as if they believe he has what it takes. Logically, it would seem some more full-time work behind the plate in the minor leagues would be beneficial, but the D-backs don't want to rush to judgment. He's been here since the first of the year, being dedicated to improving his catching skills," Dave Stewart said. "We've got the rest of this month and all of March to really get the work in, but one thing he's done is he's not shied away from the work. He's received instruction very well."

[AZ Central] Brandon Drury to split time between 2nd and 3rd - "I don't feel like I need extra reps at second to be game-ready there," he said. "I felt good there." That doesn't mean he's not open to instruction. In fact, he's been seeking it. During a fielding drill Friday, Drury approached veteran Aaron Hill for advice. Hill called for a halt to the drill so he could give the prospect a few pointers.

[] D-backs, Trumbo feel slugger better fit for right field - "From what I understood from talking to Mike Scioscia, he's a much better right fielder than he is in left," Stewart said. Trumbo said he feels more comfortable there as well. "Just reads off the bat, what I feel more comfortable with," Trumbo said. "Being right-handed I've just found right field, especially with some of those balls coming in, it's much easier for me with that angle as opposed to the one in left."

And, elsewhere...

[ESPN] How do WAR, FIP, BABIP, K-rate and other next level stats impact fantasy strategy - This is actually a pretty good introduction to these stats, and what they mean in the "real world." We'll probably be mentioning them a fair bit this year, so you might as well get used to it!

[] Chelsea Baker dreams of pitching in college and MLB. Can she do it? - Chelsea Baker is a 5'2" high school senior in Florida, with a fastball that tops out in the upper 70s, a nasty knuckleball and dreams of playing in college and maybe even the major leagues. She’s also a girl. "If possible, that would be the coolest thing ever," Baker said of her reaching the game's highest level. It's also patently absurd, right?

[The Post Game] In Search Of Pete Hill, Greatest Baseball Player You Probably Never Heard Of - "To understand where Pete Hill came from, one must first understand where he ended up. It's a search that begins in a cemetery on Chicago’s South Side, where it was believed that Pete Hill -- inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 and then re-inducted in 2010 -- had been laid to rest more than 50 years ago."