Jarrod Parker looked good throwing a bullpen session on Wednesday at Salt River Fields.
Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
It was business as usual at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Wednesday as pitchers and catchers took part in day three of spring workouts.
Pitchers continued with bullpens, PFP (pitcher’s fielding practice), conditioning and hitting work.
Hitting figures to be a continuous work in progress for the pitching staff as manager Kirk Gibson has expressed his desire for pitchers to be able to handle the bat.
As workouts progress, several players have established a routine and are developing a routine.
“It feels great, obviously to be out here at the great Salt River fields,” pitcher Barry Enright said. “You can’t really complain being at this place, but two bullpens now. Obviously, getting into the conditioning and the thick of things and being with all the guys. It’s good to be back, and it’s definitely a lot less boring than being at home by myself.”
Among the pitchers who participated in workouts today was left-hander Clay Zavada. Zavada missed the first two days of camp for reasons he deemed were a personal matter.
While the southpaw did not throw a bullpen, he was able to play catch and workout.
“It was great,” Zavada said. “It was sunshine, everyone’s in a good mood, working hard. It’s a good group of guys. Staff is awesome. I love it. It’s been real exciting so far first day.”
Zavada said he hopes to throw a bullpen on Friday or Saturday.
While getting Zavada in camp was a priority, so was reaching an agreement with starting second baseman Kelly Johnson.
Johnson agreed to a one-year deal with the D-backs on Tuesday, which allowed him and the organization to avoid an arbitration hearing. Johnson reported to camp Wednesday.
“I don’t know anybody that’s ever been to a hearing so you go off of hearsay on things like that, and nobody has too many good of things to say,” second baseman Kelly Johnson said. “Besides all that, it’s no different than anybody else’s deal free agency or whatever. It’s one of those things that once it’s announced, it’s all good, but after that it’s all about team.”
Now that Johnson is under contract, the infielder has developed a winner’s mentality he hopes the D-backs will hold as team throughout 2011.
“I’ll be honest, I’m sick of the moral victory thing we started doing at the end of the year. I think we started with a really good, positive note going into spring training. Going into the season, I think everybody was very strong. I think we played great baseball in Spring Training. I know spring games don’t mean a lot, but there was just a lot of confidence. I think guys going up to the mound, going up to the plate, I think everybody was confident and positive. I thought we had a really good momentum going into the season.
“It was unfortunate the way some games were lost, but that’s how it works. You still have a chance to go and play in May, June and July. April and May, those months aren’t going to decide your season.”
Johnson is adamant that a moral victory attitude for the D-backs has to be put to an end this season.
“We started looking for those positives, but we’re losing,” Johnson said. “I think that’s got to be done. That’s go to be out the window, it’s got to be more about how are we going to win today. What are the Arizona Diamondbacks going to do today to win the baseball game?”
Here are some shots from D-backs staffer Jordan Megenhardt: