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Snake Bytes, 3/22: Nick of time edition

Down to their last out before a tie was to be declared, Nick Ahmed came through to give the D-backs their fifth win in a row. But it was Patrick Corbin who received most attention...[H/T Oldenschoole for the headline]

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D-backs news

[AZ Central] Patrick Corbin keeps rolling, shuts down Brewers - Corbin said his change-up continues to make progress, to the point where he thinks he’s close being able to throw it in any count. "I honestly think the change-up is helping my fastball a little bit, maybe getting on guys a little bit to where I’m getting more strikeouts on that pitch," Corbin said. "I just think overall it’s helping to have a three-pitch mix up there that can help fool hitters."

[] D-backs' Patrick Corbin could have a big year - Corbin joked that his pitch count was similar to what he could have expected for an entire night of work last season. This year, a pitch count in the 70s is just a step toward something bigger and better. "And the recovery has gone really well for me, as well," Corbin said. "I've been able to go back and feel just as strong every start, and that's something I struggled with last year coming back. I feel like normal now. It's great to be back and get that pitch count back up close to 100 by the end of this camp."

[TKB] D-Backs Option Bradley Ray Seems Set For Rotation - Left-hander Robbie Ray may have locked up the final spot a week earlier than Bradley earned his job with a strong spring last year. "He is pitching well enough to be that guy, yes," manager Chip Hale said Saturday of Ray, who is 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in three spring starts. Bradley, meanwhile, has not regained the form that placed him in the national spotlight last April, and it is unclear where the D-backs will turn if injuries or ineffectiveness create an opening this season.

[FOX Sports] Manager Chip Hale takes credit for Diamondbacks offensive onslaught - During Chip Hale's daily briefing with the media on Monday, the Diamondbacks manger was asked about the gaudy offensive numbers his team has put up so far this spring. Hale immediately took full credit. "I've been working with the hitters pretty much early every day, myself, to get them to that spot," he said. He was joking. "That was my best Tony La Russa impression," he explained.

[ESPN] Greinke throws an awesome bullpen session - Even during this session, in the middle of a hot afternoon in Arizona, he was a picture of concentration. He looked away once, glancing off in the distance to his left, maybe envisioning Yasiel Puig or Adrian Gonzalez at the plate or maybe just watching a crow fly by, but otherwise he was in complete focus with his catcher. He didn't react when a woman with the foghorn voice of a sailor bellowed, "Way to fire, big man! Best in a million, Mr. Greinke!" Which she repeated a couple of times. [Hmm, who might that be?!?]

[] D-backs considering second lefty for bullpen - When camp opened, Hale's preference was to have a second left-hander in the 'pen, but strong performances by a bunch of right-handers may force Hale to go with just one. "These guys have to show us that they're more important than a last righty that's a power guy," Hale said of his left-handed candidates. Lefties still in camp include Matt Reynolds and Wesley Wright. Reynolds has been out of action recently due to tightness in his back and has a 5.40 ERA, while Wright has the best numbers of the trio with a 1.42 ERA.

[AZ Central] Versatile Phil Gosselin hits way into mix - Gosselin says his natural position is probably second base, but he’s grown accustomed to bouncing from position to position. "I really do enjoy bouncing around and playing different spots, but at the end of the day I think we all want to play one spot and play every day there," he said. "That’s the ultimate goal. But for right now it’s fun – you show up and it’s something new every day. With 162 games, the season gets long, for sure. This keeps it fresh."

[] D-backs' infield competition is tough to call - "When will we have those talks? Probably right before Opening Day," Hale said. "Maybe even during those two games [vs. the Royals]. Maybe we're looking at six [infield] positions, who knows?" "I mean, it's going to be a tough decision. I actually told them in the group talk today, I told them, 'We're cutting people down.' We cut some guys, but this competition is unbelievable. I want them to understand that when we make the 25, the competition doesn't stop there. Maybe that's why we're having such a good spring here. They're fighting for their lives."

And, elsewhere...

[Morning Call] As Obama watches Rays in Havana, Cuban baseball in crisis - When President Barack Obama watches the Tampa Bay Rays play Cuba's national team Tuesday, it will come at the deepest moment of crisis in more than 50 years for the island's famed state-run baseball league. A flood of high-profile defections to the U.S. has gutted the country's teams. Stadiums and fields are run down, and experts and fans say quality of play is too. The national team hasn't won a major international tournament in nearly a decade. Now authorities are considering once-unimaginable changes to save the socialist country's national game

[San Francisco Chronicle] Parker has "no doubt" he will try to pitch again - Jarrod Parker spoke to the media for the first time since re-fracturing the medial epicondyle in his right elbow earlier this month and the onetime A’s ace said there is "no doubt" he will try to pitch again. "I think to have the chance is all I have," he said. "Luckily, modern medicine is what it is." Parker has had two Tommy John surgeries and after two traumatic events such as the medial epicondyle avulsion fractures, he is likely to need a third, according to various medical experts.

[Sports On Earth] Who are the oldest active players in baseball? - The same way you can cut down a tree and count the rings to determine its age, you can find out how old a baseball fan is by asking him who his baseball peers are. All baseball fans go through the stages of aging by Baseball Woodersonism. We keep getting older, but all those baseball players stay the same age.