D-backs Finish Spring Training with Win
By Greg Dillard
Spring Training officially drew to a close for the D-backs on Wednesday when they hosted the Tigres de Quintana Roo at Chase Field.
The 10-2 Arizona victory signaled the end of manager Kirk Gibson’s first Spring at the helm. It was a competitive six weeks for the D-backs as several roster and bullpen spots were up for grabs. Among those who battled down to the final days of Spring Training was relief pitcher Kam Mickolio. The tall right-hander posted a 4.38 ERA with 13 strikeouts this Spring.
Mickolio was acquired by the D-backs this past offseason from Baltimore along with follower reliever David Hernandez.
In the end, Mickolio did enough to make the Opening Day Roster.
“He’s tall, a little different deception,” Gibson said. “He gives you a little more towards right-handers. We had discussions and as an organization we decided that Kam would get the opportunity initially.”
Enright, D-backs face off against familiar faces
The D-backs hitters faced some familiar faces on Thursday as three Arizona pitchers toed the rubber for the opposing Tigres.
Southpaw Wade Miley, and right-handers Daniel Stange and Bryan Shaw joined the Tigres for the final exhibition game of the season. Miley received the starting nod for Quintana Roo, and went ahead to head against D-backs starting pitcher Barry Enright.
In the bottom of the second, Enright stepped into the box, and promptly singled into center field off of Miley.
Enright used Wednesday’s outing, in which he tossed 3 2/3 innings and gave up two runs, as a final preparation for the regular season.
“It was alright,” Enright said. “A few balls that I was trying to get to the outside corner ran back over the plate. I gave up a few more hits than I would have liked. I’m just trying to get the fastball control, get a few pitches under my belt and get ready for Monday.”
Enright was recently penciled into the fourth slot in the D-backs starting rotation, and is highly anticipating the start of the season.
“So happy,” Enright said. “It’ll be the first Opening Day for a few of us, which is exciting. Get the adrenaline, get the juices flowing, get into the games that really count.”
Putz feels strong after pitching on back-to-back days
New D-backs closer J.J. Putz continued his preparation for the regular season against the Tigres.
Putz came on in relief with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. He quickly ended the inning by striking out Jesus Espinoza.
It was a short, but strong outing for Putz, and also served as the first time he has pitched in consecutive games this Spring.
“I felt good,” Putz said. “Warming up was pretty easy, I got loose pretty quick. Fortunately had a nice, efficient hitter.”
While Putz has seen limited time on the mound in recent weeks, he feels he is prepared for the start of the season.
“I think this was a really good confidence builder,” Putz said. “All the way around, health-wise, stuff-wise.
“I think today was a good indicator of being able to bounce back a second day and go out there and pitch effectively.”
D-backs excited for Opening Day
After six weeks of Spring Training, the D-backs are looking forward to competing in games that count.
Arizona will kick off the 2011 regular season with a six game road trip that begins in Colorado on Friday.
“Opening Day is Opening Day,” Putz said. “It’s a special thing. It’s something that you remember. You always remember your first one. There’s a bunch of guys in this room that are going to have their first one so that’s going to be special for them.”
After A Spring that saw the D-backs experience mixed results on the diamond, the team is excited for the clean slate come Friday.
“We feel good about it,” Gibson said. “It’s been a long Spring. We played a lot of games. Guys fought through it. We start 0-0 with everybody on Friday. We’ll be defined how we fight through it. There’s going to be some good times, some bad times. We’ve talking a lot about this. This is what we’ve been pointing towards all Spring, and we’re excited about it.”
Ryan Roberts on making the team: