It’s A (New) Vibe: D-Backs Open 2019 Camp

Arizona Diamondback pitchers and catchers reported Wednesday morning, and there was a lot of conversation surrounding the new faces and the departed players from last year’s team.

Caleb Joseph

The Diamondbacks signed catcher Caleb Joseph to a one-year contract and moved starter Taijuan Walker to the 60-day disabled list Wednesday morning. Joseph was a .224 hitter in five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and has a good reputation for handling a pitching staff and as a receiver. General manager Mike Hazen said the club would likely have three catchers on the roster, and it will be busy behind the plate with Joseph joining Alex Avila, John Ryan Murphy and Carson Kelly, who are all vying for time at the Major League level. Hazen, Joseph and Torey Lovullo discuss the deal in the video below:

Not Crying About A Broken Nail

Archie Bradley’s broken fingernail was a constant topic last year, but the Snakes reliever emphatically let reporters know on Wednesday all is healed.

“This nail is solid,” Bradley said. “I’m throwing some hammers this year. I’m going to hae one of the best curveballs in the big leagues this year.”

Bradley’s nail got smashed by a car door in December 2017, and it never really healed in the 2018 season, greatly impacting his curveball. He essentially relied on his fastball and fastball alone in 2018, but he said he has introduced the curveball back into his repetoire.

“Honestly, I feel like a new pitcher going into camp this year,” Bradley said. “Having that pitch, throwing it the way I’m throwing it, having the command and intent I’m throwing it with. I’m really excited.”

He also wants to implement a third pitch, likely a change-up, in his regular rotation.

“Just having a healthy nail, I feel like I’m going to be twice as good.”

He would get manicures frequently before the injury, but now…he’s an expert.

“If you need your nails done, I can probably do it for you.”

Closing Time

Of course, a big topic of conversation this spring will be who takes over the closer spot in the bullpen. The Diamondbacks have utilized one-and-done closers in the first two seasons of Hazen/Lovullo regime with Fernando Rodney and Brad Boxberger, and they have another candidate that could take that role in Greg Holland.

“He’s walking around with some hardware on his hand,” Lovullo said of Holland, who won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. “He’s calling himself a world champion, I know in 2017 he had a tremendous year so the statisitics and the things that we’re reading about speak for themselves.” 

And based on conversations he’s had with his new reliever and people who know Holland, and Lovullo has been able to gather more about him off the field.

“He’s a great clubhouse leader. He’s accountable. He knows what’s right or wrong and he’s going to set a great example for us here.” 

The Diamondbacks are not short on options at closer with Holland, Bradley, Yoshi Hirano and other relievers at play.

The fun begins now.