Jarrod Parker – Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
Last season, Barry Enright made a name for himself in Arizona after his promotion to the Major Leagues in June.
In 2011, Enright finds himself battling for a spot in the D-backs rotation and the right-hander certainly started Spring Training with a strong performance.
Enright made his Spring debut in the third inning of the D-backs’ 6-5 loss to the Rockies on Monday afternoon at Salt River Fields, and did not disappoint.
In his first inning of work, Enright swiftly retired Dexter Fowler on a pop out to the catcher. Enright then showed off his glove work as he scrambled to haul in a ground ball off the bat of Jonathan Herrera for the second out of the inning.
Enright capped off the 1-2-3 inning by inducing Charlie Blackmon into an inning ending ground out.
In the top of the fourth inning, Enright returned to the mound and promptly retired Troy Tulowitzi on a line out and Todd Helton on a fly out to the shortstop.
Chris Nelson stepped to the plate and smacked a double off the left field wall, but Enright rebounded by striking out Cole Garner to end the inning.
While Enright fell behind a few hitters, he was able to fight back and avoid walking anyone.
“I struggled actually getting ahead,” Enright said. “So that was kind of frustrating. But (I was) able to get some balls down in the zone, get a few ground outs, which helped. It was good to only give up one hit, but to get behind in the count like that, I can hurt myself. Just got to work on getting ahead.”
In the end, Enright posted an impressive final line of two innings, one strikeout and only one hit allowed.
Like for many of his fellow pitchers, Enright enjoyed returning to competition.
“It’s good to get back out there,” Enright said. “Had to wait till Monday to do it and was kind of anxious. Good to get back on the bump and get a few pitches under my belt.”
Following Enright, it was Jarrod Parker’s turn to make his 2011 debut.
After missing all of last season due to an elbow injury and Tommy John surgery, Parker and the D-backs have long awaited his return to the mound.
On Monday afternoon, the return finally arrived.
“I was excited,” Parker said. “Just tried to stay within myself and be as calm as I can. The adrenaline was pumping and I was excited facing the Rockies, a pretty good lineup in today.”
In the top of the fifth, Parker retired the leadoff batter Matt Pagnozi via the strikeout. Parker did get in some trouble, issuing three walks in the inning. But with two outs and the bases loaded, Parker responded by getting Troy Tulowitzki to fly out to right field to end the threat.
That would be Parker’s lone inning on the afternoon as he finished with three walks, one strikeout, and no runs allowed.
“It’s good to get the inning under my belt and get some outs and battle a little bit,” Parker said. “It was fun.”
Monday afternoon photos by D-backs photographer Jordan Megehardt:
Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Salvatore
If you’ve been yearning to get a look at D-backs pitching prospect Jarrod Parker in action, today is your day.
The young righty will pitch against the Colorado Rockies. Obviously, pitchers aren’t firing with 100 percent of their velocity this early in the spring, but you’ll be able to watch Parker in his first professional game since July 2009, at least his first outside of instructional league.
It will also be our first glimpse of Barry Enright so far this spring.
After a terrific big league debut in 2010, he’s fighting for a rotation spot alongside veterans Zach Duke, Aaron Heilman and Armando Galarraga. Coincidentally, Monday is our first look at Galarraga in a D-backs uniform as well.
Here’s a look at who will be taking the mound for the next three days (* – indicates first Spring Training outing):
Monday vs. Rockies at Salt River Fields:
Armando Galarraga *
Barry Enright *
Jarrod Parker *
Backups: Matt Gorgen, Leyson Septimo, Micah Owings
Tuesday vs. Rockies at Salt River Fields:
Matt Gorgen *
Wednesday, split squad:
vs Mariners at Salt River Fields
Leyson Septimo *
vs. Giants at Scottsdale Stadium
Follow me on Twitter (Insider_Writer) for in-game updates.
Photography: Jordan MegenhardtBy Greg Salvatore
As if the home run ball or foul ball you catch at Salt River Fields this spring could be any cooler, well, it’s also historic.
The D-backs and Rockies will use special baseball with SRF logos on them throughout Spring Training. Although uniquely logoed baseballs are common in special events like the World Series or All Star Games, it is believed that this is the first time it has been done in Spring Training.
The Salt River Fields logo is based on a concept by local Pima artist and calendar stick carver Royce Manuel. Manuel chose to incorporate a rattlesnake to symbolize the D-backs and a mountain to symbolize the Rockies. The logo also emphasizes the scenic mountain ranges that surround Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and illustrates the role of the rattlesnake in southwestern Native American legends.
Zachary Mazefsky from www.bigleaguebaseballs.com posted a two-part blog on the subject. Mazefsky’s site chronicles the special edition baseballs that are used throughout the game.
From Part 1, in which Mazefsky introduces Salt River Fields:
Indeed, this is an MLB commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig officially stamped ROMLB gamer – not to be confused with any souvenir baseballs. And all fans attending spring training games will have a chance to snag one of these babies throughout the 2011 Cactus League season. So for our ballhawks on the site, if you’re in the area, get down to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and don’t forget your gloves.
I’ll post an update here when Mazefsky posts Part 2 on the subject, which includes an interview with D-backs Director of Special Projects (and friend & supporter of D-blog) Graham Rossini.
I’ll be here all day writing about the first game at Salt River Fields, and go ahead and follow me on Twitter (Insider_Writer) for a lot of updates, Twitpics and such.
Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
In just three days, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies will play in the first ever game at Salt River Fields.
The D-backs announced today that the opening game is sold out, with a full house expected to be in attendance.
It is sure to be an exciting environment come Saturday afternoon for not only the fans, but the players and coaches as well.
After several days of practice, the D-backs are eager to compete in a game.
“I remember what it was like as a player,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “You get up there without the turtle around you, it feels way different without the batting cage. You’re a pitcher and there’s no screen there, that’s different. The fans will be there. It will pump them up.
Salt River Fields figures to not only to be packed on Saturday, but all season long. The D-backs announced that 120,000 tickets have been sold for their 17 home games.
Following Saturday’s opener, the D-backs will take on the defending world champion San Francisco Giants on Sunday and the Rockies again on Monday afternoon.
Sweeney fighting for job in bullpen
Brian Sweeney is one of the several relievers fighting for a job in the D-backs bullpen this spring. Sweeney is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, but is familiar with the challenges of fighting for a roster spot.
“It’s something I’m used to,” Sweeney said. “Every year of my career, it’s always been a competition. You want the team to succeed, and hopefully you can be a piece of that puzzle to help the team succeed. It’s something I’ve been doing for awhile. I do embrace it.”
Sweeney has spent parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with both the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. Last season, Sweeney notched a 3.16 ERA in 37 innings for the Mariners.
While camp is only in its second week, Sweeney is pleased with what he’s seen so far.
“I really like the atmosphere of camp right now,” Sweeney said. “The management the team, everybody’s working hard. With the great meeting this morning with the Seals and everything, it’s been a good start.”
Navy Seals visit D-backs
Before Wednesday morning workouts began, the D-backs received a visit from US Navy Seals.
The visiting members spoke to the entire team on a variety of topics including mental toughness.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Sweeney said. “To see what they go through and to relate it to our journey as well, it gets you really in the right mindset. What they have to go through compared to what we have to go through it’s not really the same thing, but in order to compete at what they’re doing you need to be elite. To be elite as a baseball player, you have to have that same kind of mindset. To hear them speak that way, it’s pretty cool.”
D-backs hit the links
After tomorrow’s workout, D-backs players and coaches are hitting the fairways and greens in a team golf outing.
Gibson estimated that more than 40 people are attending the event. Before the golfing begins, the team will hold a workout in the morning.
“It’ll be shorter, and then we’re going to go play golf at one o’clock,” Gibson said. “Shorter hitting, do a fundamental segment, a situational segment, kind of a lighter day. Kind of a recovery day, and we’ll get after it on Friday.”
On Friday, the busy Spring Training game schedule kicks off for the D-backs when they face off against the Giants. Thursday’s golf event provides the team with a chance to relax before games begin.
“We’re trying to do something together, and spend some time together before we get after it,” Gibson said.
KTAR Broadcasting from SRF
D-backs radio partner KTAR has been broadcasting their shows all day at Salt River Fields this week. They’ve had several D-backs on air, with many more to come:
Wednesday images from D-backs photographer Jordan Megenhardt:http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649
Photography: Jon Willey
By Greg Dillard
In a short ceremony on Friday, officials from both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies along with leaders of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Community dedicated Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The event featured several key speakers including President Diane Enos who thanked the many contributors, and welcomed everyone to the complex.
D-backs Managing Partner Ken Kendrick also took the podium and proclaimed, “It’s a great day to be a Diamondback.”
Kendrick was just one of the speakers who stressed the importance of the relationship between the two teams and the Community.
“They’ve been great partners throughout,” Kendrick said. “It’s a great point of pride to them that Major League Baseball has come to their community, and we have a facility like this on their land. They’re exceptionally happy to have us, and we’re very proud to be their partner.”
D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall followed Kendrick and spoke of his outstanding relationship with late Rockies President Keli McGregor.
Prior to the grand opening, the Keli McGregor Reflection Trail was dedicated. The trail is located outside of the main stadium and behind home plate, and is in honor of the late Rockies President who passed away in 2010.
It was an emotional time for members of the D-backs and Rockies organization, and for McGregor’s wife Lori, who represented her husband.
Hall remains proud of what he and McGregor envisioned for the Spring Training complex.
“It means a lot to me that Keli and I dreamt it together, designed it together, and it’s terribly sad that he can’t be here today to see the end result,” Hall said. “I know he’s here in spirit. He would’ve been so proud. I’m proud of him. I’m proud of our friendship, and I’m proud of what we accomplished together.”
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a one of a kind facility equipped with the largest video board in the Cactus League, 12 practice fields, and an elaborate stadium.
Hall is confident that fans will be impressed when they attend games.
“Not only that it’s the most beautiful facility by far,” Hall said, “but I think the location. The location sets us aside. It’s got breathtaking views, it’s completely surrounded panoramic views every where you look. It is by far the most superior complex, and that was our goal from the beginning.”
The action at Salt River Fields will begin to pick up next week when pitchers and catchers hold their first workout on Monday. The first game of the Spring Training season will come on Saturday, Feb. 26 between the D-backs and Rockies.
D-backs photographer Jordan Megenhardt has been going to Salt River Fields regularly since construction began, and he went this morning to document the progress. What you’ll notice from these photos is that the facility is nearly done, which is very exciting for those of us who have been monitoring things closely.
We’ll head out to the facility in the coming weeks for a tour, and post some video here on D-blog. In the meantime, here are some of the things Jordan saw today: