[dbacks.com] D-backs pleased with M. Kelly’s progress - “I think the first couple, those are behind me,” said Kelly, who is expected to be the team’s fifth starter. “The first couple were just a lot of nerves, a lot of emotions, a lot of excitement, and just [the] first couple of games of spring -- just trying to get my feet underneath me and putting a little too much emphasis on those first two games. I like the way I’ve been able to progress from start to start. For Spring Training, I think that’s the key.”
[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ Merrill Kelly pitches five innings, allows one run to LA Angels - Kelly said his two-seam fastball in particular had extra motion. “I don’t know if that’s because of the difference of the ball or what, or maybe the highness in the mound, but I think that’s been a big priority,” he said. He said he’s still trying to establish the command of the two-seam, but with that, the curveball and some solid sliders, his arsenal looked impressive Thursday. “As a pitcher, we’ll take more movement any day of the week,” he said. “I just need to know where to start it for a strike and kind of where to start it for a ball.”
[AZ Central] Merrill Kelly sharp again but Arizona Diamondbacks fall to Angels - The Diamondbacks had just six hits as they continue to struggle to score runs in spring training. They’ve scored just 120 runs in 27 games, the fewest of any Cactus League team outside of the Mariners and Athletics, both of whom have played far fewer games because of their series in Japan. “I thought our approaches offensively could have been a little bit better (on Thursday),” Lovullo said. “I know for a while we only had two hits. Sometimes that happens in camp. We’re working on a lot of things daily. I know these guys are making some adjustments daily. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t score some (more) runs.”
[The Athletic] Gammons: Diamondbacks may be rebuilding, but they still care about winning more than draft picks – The Athletic - “The players here understand the business and weren’t shocked by what happened this offseason,” says first baseman Jake Lamb. “We get it. But we also respect that this organization doesn’t want to clean house, lose a hundred games and tell the fans that they are building for the future. Last summer, after I had my operation, I was working out in the training room and Mike Hazen was in there watching the game and getting a workout (like Billy Beane). I have seen how much he cares about winning or losing. I mean, he cares.”
[dbacks.com] D-backs catcher fulfills promise to parents by earning college degree
- Now that school is done with, Kelly has found a new passion to keep him from thinking too much about baseball when he’s away from the ballpark. “Now I read,” he said. “So I’m taking time to read, whatever it might be. I’m on the Harry Potter series right now. Sounds a little weird, I know, but I never read it as a kid. But it’s a good change for me to refocus from baseball. You have to find ways to not dwell on your last game. So, reading, going out and playing golf, finding a hobby, I don’t know -- needlepoint -- whatever it is, everybody has to have something to refocus.
[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks closing in on closer decision - A day after announcing that Zack Greinke would be Arizona’s starter on Opening Day, the Diamondbacks’ manager said he wants to have the ninth inning spoken for in the very near future as well. “I’d like to probably make a decision here in the next several days,” Lovullo acknowledged. “But I want to give it the right amount of time and get enough information from, in this case, Archie [Bradley], who’s been down for a little while. I know that he’s throwing today, and I’m anxious to see how he looks.”
[The Athletic] Most roles secure? Projecting the Diamondbacks’ 25-man Opening Day roster - On the bullpen side, the Diamondbacks could also tab Scott or Rule 5 pick Nick Green for the final two spots behind Koch. Lopez is probably a more enticing option than Green, although an argument could be made for Scott over Rzepczynski. Both can be kept in the minors to start the season with no risk — Scott has an option and Rzepczynski does not have an opt-out in his minor-league deal — but only one could for sure be sent back to the minors when McFarland returns, and that’s Scott.
[Yahoo] Paul Goldschmidt: Do D-back fans know who they got in return? - Goldschmidt, who spent eight years in Arizona, is still a much, much larger presence even in his absence in D-backs spring training than any of those guys. Want proof? We asked a bunch of fans, many of whom were still rocking Goldie jerseys, if they could name even one of the guys their team got in the trade and, well, just take a look at how that went.
[Phoenix Business Journal] Fan Cost Index pegs D-backs as best deal in MLB - For the 11th consecutive year, the D-backs bottomed — or is it topped? — out on the Fan Cost Index as the most affordable Major League Baseball team for a family of four. The index, created and compiled by Team Marketing Report (TMR), shows a family of four can enjoy a D-backs game for $142.42. That's the average cost for four non-premium tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, two beers and two souvenir caps, plus a parking spot.
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[AZ Central] Goldschmidt’s former Diamondbacks teammates happy to see him get paid - “It’s great for him and his family,” Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed said. “I think the contract he signed back with us a bunch of years ago was one of those team-friendly deals they called it, I guess, but he’s been such a good player for a really long time. So he’s definitely earned it. Deserves that.” Said Diamondbacks first baseman Jake Lamb: “He deserves it all. There’s not really anything else to say. He definitely deserves that kind of money.”