The Diamondbacks’ spring training schedule kicks off on Saturday with two split squad games, one at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick the other at the Giants stadium. They take on the Giants at 1:05 p.m., and the Rockies at 1:10 p.m.
Of course, before they can play those games, the team has to get its proper practice and preparation in, which is what they’re doing right now.
Manager Kirk Gibson spoke on Tuesday afternoon, and he was pleased by what he saw out of his players in practice.
“It was good,” Gibson said. “Another day, everything went smoothly.”
Gibson said the pitchers felt more comfortable out on the mound, being that it was their second time doing live pitching since camp began.
Gibson admitted that he bumped around the facility a lot, and saw bits and pieces of it all, and said his guys are “focused on what they’re trying to do.”
The name Stephen Drew was brought up right off the bat in the press conference. When you hear his name, it’s hard not to flash back to July 20, 2011, when Drew broke his right ankle sliding into home plate against Milwaukee.
Nevertheless, Drew is making his way back, and is optimistic about playing on Opening Day against the Giants on April 6.
Gibson talked favorably about Drew, saying he likes what he sees so far.
“He’s worked hard to strengthen the surgically repaired area,” Gibson said. “He’s moving around pretty good.”
Pitcher Josh Collmenter is heading into his second season with Arizona, and needless to say, MANY eyes will be on him to see how he performs this season.
Gibson is very excited to see what his young pitcher can do this season, because he knows what Collmenter has in his arsenal.
“He doesn’t fit the prototype of a dominating pitcher,” Gibson said. “Yet he has the stuff to do so just because of the belief he has in himself, the way he’s able to execute every pitch that he throws.”
Outfielder Justin Upton was hit 19 times last season, which no doubt infuriated his coaches, teammates and fans.
Gibson says getting hit by a pitch is part of the game, but he said he wouldn’t tell his pitchers to intentionally hit an opposing batter if one of his players were hit, intentionally or not.
“It’s a dangerous thing to do,” Gibson said.
The road to the World Series has been paved, and the Diamondbacks are already taking strides in that direction with the start of spring training.
Let’s see where they end up in October…