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One month from now, it'll be Opening Day

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Team news

[FOX Sports] D-backs' Ray emerges as strikeout ace but still working on efficiency - Consistency and lasting deeper into games are the main goals this spring for Ray, who could wind up the No. 3 starter in the Arizona rotation. He worked on it a bit in his first start of the spring, facing the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. "Obviously, I need to work on landing another pitch in the zone when I can," Ray said. "So I think that was something I was able to do after Butch (pitching coach Mike Butcher) came out." Ray said he threw "really good slider" to Tyler Saladino, the only batter he struck out in the six he faced.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs LHP Robbie Ray struggles, ‘not worried’ about spring debut - Ray ended the first inning with 30 pitches. He threw five more, retiring catcher Geovany Soto on a ground ball, before manager Torey Lovullo made the call to the bullpen. "Overall, I thought he did a great job of competing with men in scoring position and wiggling out of the first inning without giving up a run, but that’s really not what we’re evaluating," Lovullo said. "He didn’t execute his pitches as perfectly as he probably had wanted to, but like I’ve been saying for the rest of the guys, it’s the first time they’ve been on the mound. They’re probably a little excited, and they haven’t really found a rhythm yet."

[dbacks.com] D-backs need backup for Paul Goldschmidt at 1B - New D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said that he'd like to keep Goldschmidt's games at around 155, or roughly one off-day a month. It's a subject that Lovullo has discussed with Goldschmidt. "It took place already and he's reluctant to do it, as we all would have imagined," Lovullo said of his talk with Goldschmidt. "That's what great players are. They never want to miss a moment. But for us to be at our best every single day we're going to need some time down for him. I think he understands that."

[AZ Central] Drury not satisfied with solid rookie year - This is Brandon Drury, for better or worse: After a spring-training game this week, long after most of his Diamondbacks teammates had left for home, Drury grabbed a bat and bounded toward an outdoor cage, ready to get in a few more swings. For better because it is in Drury’s nature to work, to want to improve, to care deeply about his performance. For worse because it is that same single-mindedness that has left coaches and team officials to wonder if Drury’s obsession with being a great baseball player might be self-defeating.

[Arizona Sports] Arizona-raised players living their dream as Diamondbacks - Brian Matusz vividly remembers Craig Counsell’s home run ball landing near he and his dad when they sat in right field for Game 1 of the 2001 World Series. Matusz was 14 years old at the time, and that moment has stuck with him ever since... "Any time you put on a uniform, there’s motivation to perform and do well," Matusz said. "But obviously being local, it’s that little extra excitement to play for the hometown team, and I’m pretty excited."

[FOX Sports] FOX Sports Arizona to televise 161 Diamondbacks games - As FOX Sports Arizona celebrates its 20th Anniversary, the network is proud to announce it will televise the most Arizona Diamondbacks game telecasts in its history during the 2017 season. There will be 161 games offered on FOX Sports Arizona or FOX Sports Arizona Plus this season, while the remaining outing on the D-backs 162-game schedule will be an FS1 national telecast (vs. Cincinnati on July 8). Additionally, all 162 games will be streamed on the FOX Sports GO app.

[Beyond the Box Score] Trade Retrospective: Trevor Cahill for Jarrod Parker - This trade arguably turned out worse than the Montero/Pineda trade. At least the Yankees got some mileage out of Michael Pineda. The results for the A’s and Diamondbacks were disastrous. However, nobody could have predicted that Cahill would fall so fast, or Parker’s tragic string of serious injuries. Chalk this one up to "You Can’t Predict Baseball."

And, elsewhere...

[FanRag] Reno Aces To Host Trevor Bauer Drone Bobblehead Giveaway - All of the fun that comes along with minor league baseball is officially back once again. The Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have released their promotional schedule for the upcoming season and it includes a Trevor Bauer Drone Bobblehead Giveaway, scheduled for August 19. His reaction?

[MLB.com] David Ross to compete on ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' - While Ross will be the first baseball player to appear on the show, there has been a connection in the past: Volleyball player Misty May-Treanor, who is married to former big league catcher Matt Treanor, competed on the show after winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

[Kansas City Star] Royals’ Peter O’Brien leaves teammates in awe with ‘freaky’ power - The son of a mother from Cuba and a father from Michigan, O’Brien grew up speaking both Spanish and English. His mother Mercedes — a former professional ballerina who left Cuba in 1981 — made sure her son mastered Spanish first. Inside a baseball clubhouse, the skill can help O’Brien maneuver between cultures — even if new Latin teammates are occasionally caught off guard. "Somebody will say something in Spanish, and then I’ll answer back," O’Brien said. "And everyone kind of freaks out — the last name O’Brien and my first language was Spanish."

[ESPN] Jose Abreu of Chicago White Sox tells jury he ate fake passport on way to U.S. - Abreu told a Miami federal jury Wednesday that he ate a chunk of a fake passport while flying to the U.S. to cover up his illegal travel as part of a Cuban ballplayer smuggling operation. Abreu testified that he ordered a beer on an Air France flight from Haiti to Miami and slowly consumed the page containing a false name and his photo. Abreu said he traveled illegally because he was worried he would miss an October 2013 deadline and lose the $68 million contract he later signed with Chicago.

[HardballTalk] Baseball doesn’t need gimmicks to draw in young fans. It just needs to be baseball - But isn’t baseball . . . boring? And slow? Don’t kids like video games and kinetic action? Doesn’t a 19th century pastime with a sometimes turgid pace turn off 21st century kids? "No, are you kidding?!" Mitchell said. "We don’t leave the game before it’s over. That’s what we do. It doesn’t matter what the score is. We love the pace of baseball. In the world of electronics, with everything moving really fast and being gimmicky, there’s something I think that my boys and I find appealing about baseball. I can share it with them and we all just slow down."