Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
It was a perfect day for baseball at Salt River Fields on Friday as the Arizona Diamondbacks hosted the San Diego Padres in front of a sellout crowd.
In his second outing of the Spring, Ian Kennedy made it look easy on the mound as he mowed through the Padres’ lineup. Kennedy is counted on to be an important piece of the D-backs rotation once again this season, and the right-hander clearly threw well on Friday.
In the first inning, Kennedy allowed a leadoff single to Eric Patterson, who was then caught stealing by D-backs catcher Miguel Montero. Kennedy struck out Jason Bartlett looking and retired Orlando Hudson via a groundout to first base.
Kennedy said his command was much improved from his first outing.
“I think as soon as you get your rhythm down, your timing is all there,” Kennedy said. “My fastball command was good. There’s some times where I missed my spot, but it helped because I got some outs on it too.”
Kennedy also said he has been watching film of his previous starts to gauge where his tempo and rhythm was.
In the top of the second inning, Jorge Cantu grounded out to third for the first out of the inning. Kennedy then froze Chris Denorfia on a breaking ball for a strikeout.
Jesus Guzman singled to center, but was stranded as Kennedy responded by getting the last out of the inning on an Aaron Cunningham fly out.
Kennedy’s third and final inning was even more impressive.
The first two batters of the inning: Guillermo Quiroz and Tim Stauffer both struck out. Patterson then grounded out to cap off the 1-2-3 frame.
That would be all for Kennedy as he finished with a final line of three innings, two hits and four strikeouts.
“I was really happy with my tempo, my rhythm,” Kennedy said. “I wasn’t happy with that last time. Physically, I felt good my previous outing, but I wasn’t happy with my tempo. I was leaving too many balls over the plate. This time I felt like my tempo was good. I tried slowing down.”
Borchering sees time at third
Among the many D-backs prospects that have taken the field this Spring Training is third baseman Bobby Borchering. The former 2009 first round draft pick is starting to see more time at third base and in the batter’s box.
In Friday’s matchup against the Padres, Borchering laced a two out single into left field in the bottom of the fifth.
Borchering hopes to take advantage of the opportunities to play in the Major League games.
“It’s great,” Borchering said. “Anytime you can get in there, get a chance to play in front of a lot of people like you will in the regular season and get in there and get a little action a little earlier, I feel is an advantage for me.”
Last season, Borchering posted a .270 batting average with 15 home runs and 74 RBI while playing for Single-A South Bend. For his first full season in professional baseball, Borchering felt like it was a great learning experience.
“South Bend was a great city for me,” Borchering said. “My manager, Haley, was just great working with me. I learned a lot through the year. It was a great year.”
With his the start of his regular season over a month away, Borchering has high goals for the rest of Spring Training.
“My goals for the Spring are to try and keep a little bit of weight on,” Borchering said. “I can sometimes get weight off pretty quick. Trying to eat a little bit more, and rest a lot. Just mentally, get in my routines and sticking with those, and keeping things simple.”