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Snake Bytes, 3/8: Beef buffet edition

Welington Castillo remains hot, ad the D-backs surged early to get past the Mariners 10-8 in Peoria yesterday

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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[Arizona Sports] Welington Castillo continues hot spring slugging - De La Rosa was pulled after 2.0+ innings and 48 pitches, 30 of which were strikes. He allowed four hits, three earned runs and two walks but said he’s feeling good about his key focus this spring: fastball command. “He was throwing really good pitches,” Castillo added. “His fastball started running into the plate against the lefties (who) started to get him. I don’t worry about him.”

[AZ Central] Bradley faced his fear and is finally free - The Diamondbacks are now convinced they made a mistake to let him pitch again as soon as he did... Privately, he was still living in fear, and it was masked by him subconsciously pretending he had to be Superman. “The biggest thing I was thinking about was, ‘It’s my first year in the big leagues.' I was four starts in when I got hit. I was pitching so well. And for me, and I think anyone that steps into a big league clubhouse for the first time, you not only want your teammates to like you, but you want them to know that they can count on you – that you’re accountable and they can trust you."

[] Yasmany Tomas to rest sore knee - The D-backs were pleased with the extra work that Yasmany Tomas got in a B game on Sunday, but it also may have taken a toll on the outfielder, who was scratched from Monday's lineup with soreness in his left knee. Chip Hale said he also plans on keeping Tomas out of Tuesday's split-squad games as well. "He had a lot of at-bats yesterday so I don't know if it's the extra swings he's been taking, but he's just a little sore. Give him a couple of days just to take a blow. Doesn't seem to be anything too serious. Just soreness."

[AZ Central] Braden Shipley pleased to avoid surgery - Shipley was told he had a bone spur in his right elbow and that a routine, offseason surgery might be necessary. But when he visited a club doctor in the fall, he heard words no pitcher wants to hear: There was fraying in his UCL, the ligament at the center of Tommy John surgeries. As it turned out, Shipley didn’t need Tommy John – nor did he undergo any type of surgery – but the experience made for a nerve-wracking start to his offseason.

[] Evan Marshall relishes return - "Today there's no major milestone," Marshall said. "It's just a good outing, a good chance to get out and throw the ball. They hit it on the ground, I like seeing that." Marshall faced three batters and got a pair of groundouts to go with a strikeout. "I'll never be able to put it all the way behind me," Marshall said of the incident. "But now that I'm back pitching in real games, I'll just kind of let it fade into the distance and focus on what I have to do to help make this ballclub better."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs recall youthful jobs before baseball signed paychecks - As an 11-year-old, infielder Jake Lamb delivered his local neighborhood newspaper on Wednesdays after school. “My brother and I would split up the pile and hop on our bikes delivering the local paper. The toughest part was having to wrap up the papers a special way and throw them in the bag, then double-wrap that because of all the rain,” the Seattle native said. “Delivering them was the fun part unless it was raining.”

[Inside the 'Zona] Diamondbacks Sign Japanese Lefty Nakaushiro - It was reported last week that Arizona had signed left-hander Yuhei Nakaushiro to a minor league contract. He is set to be in Scottsdale to train with baby Snakes for the next few months. A star pitcher at Kinki University, he made the collegiate national team as a sophomore in 2009 and again as a junior in 2010. Many people, including major-league clubs, saw a bright future in Nakaushiro, who posted a 1.48 ERA, struck out 260, walked 113 in 291.1 innings during his college career.

And, elsewhere...

[CNET] Boy engrossed in phone saved from flying baseball bat by dad - Bats fly. Especially at baseball games when hitters sometimes swing too hard and hold on too softly. That's the moment when you should be really paying attention. It's the moment when one young boy at Saturday's spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves in Bradenton, Florida, had his nose buried in his phone. Extraordinary images captured by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports photographer Christopher Horner and posted to Twitter show a bat, which had slipped out of the Pirates' Danny Ortiz's hands, flying toward the boy's head.

[Washington Post] Baseball just saw its biggest home-run surge since the steroids era - While no single factor provides a clear cut answer for the home run surge, the best explanation may be a perfect storm. Combine the increases due to park effects, warmer temperatures, a generational rookie class, better informed hitters who are swinging harder than ever and the paring down of the game’s elder demographic to its best power hitters and it’s reasonable to believe that combination could produce the 723-homer spike in 2015.

[AP] Yomiuri Giants executives to resign over gambling scandal - Tsuneo Watanabe and two other executives of the Yomiuri Giants will resign to take responsibility for a gambling scandal that has hit Japan's oldest professional baseball team. The Central league team said on Tuesday that owner Kojiro Shiraishi and team chairman Tsunekazu Momoi will resign. The decision follows an announcement earlier Tuesday that another Yomiuri player — Kyosuke Takagi — was found to have bet on baseball games.