Chicago. Christina’s mother, Roxanna Green, said the proceeds will benefit children in Tucson, starting with those at her daughter’s elementary school:
“Right now, we’re going to build a playground at Christina and Dallas’ school, Mesa Verde Elementary,” Roxanna Green said. “That’s something they desperately need. They’ve had the same playground equipment for years and years and years. We’re going to replace the PE equipment — possibly buy smart boards, computers, and a lot of companies hopefully will step forward and help us out if they’re willing to let us purchase it at cost so we can provide as much as we can for the children at the school.“Down the road, we’ll help other schools. We’ll help refurbish other parks for children, help kids go to college, help the less fortunate.”
By Greg Dillard
With high expectations heading into Spring Training last season, A.J. Pollock saw his season lost almost immediately due to a fractured growth plate in his right elbow.
A year later, Pollock has returned to the diamond for the D-backs.
In Wednesday afternoon’s contest against the Seattle Mariners at Salt River Fields, Pollock got the starting nod in centerfield and played all nine innings.
“It was awesome,” Pollock said. “Anytime you get to start up here, it’s incredible. Just try to keep it simple, try to make some plays.”
His presence was immediately felt as the speedy outfielder raced into shallow centerfield to dive and catch the third out of the first inning.
“I always felt like I had that speed game,” Pollock said. “It’s just a matter of keeping your legs healthy. Everyone here goes through times where your legs just feel slow. I felt really good today, felt good to show it off.”
Pollock stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third inning and again showed off his speed by beating out an infield single. After striking out in the fourth, Pollock rebounded by drawing a walk against Seattle’s Edward Paredes.
In his final plate appearance of the afternoon, Pollock followed a Wily Mo Pena single with a single of his own down the left field line. Pollock later scored from second base on a Paul Goldschmidt hit.
After a strong first Spring start, Pollock is eager to continue his early success.
“Obviously, I just want to come out here and make an impression,” Pollock said. “That would be the number one. I just keep it simple. Make some plays, whether it’s with the bat, on the bases, or in the field.”
While it was only one game for Pollock, it’s clear why the D-backs think highly of their former first round pick.
“He’s a baseball player,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “Good energy. His game’s solid. He’s got good skills. Puts the bat on the ball, pretty good in the outfield. He’s really young, just a year out of college. Goes about his business the right way.”
Septimo solid in Spring debut
The D-backs have long known that Leyson Septimo owns a talented repertoire of pitches and a dominant fastball. It was all a matter of putting it all together on mound for the southpaw.
Against the Mariners, Septimo certainly looked like he’s headed in the right direction.
Septimo took the mound in the top of the seventh, and faced Michael Saunders to lead off the inning. He then quickly retired Saunders on a fly out to right field.
One batter later, Brendan Ryan smacked a ground ball back to Septimo who fielded his position well by hauling in the comebacker and throwing on to Juan Miranda at first base for the out.
Septimo then got Johermyn Chavez to ground out to third base to cap off the 1-2-3 inning.
Septimo has struggled with command since converting to pitching in 2008, last year in particular, so having him command his pitches is certainly a positive sign for the D-backs.
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.