SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Buoyed by optimism that almost everyone seems to be again from a 93-win crew, pitchers and catchers started spring coaching exercises for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Little was revealed, although, over the matter of whether or not the Diamondbacks really have a shot at re-signing slugger J.D. Martinez.
A reporter astutely identified to supervisor Torey Lovullo that, within the clubhouse, there are vacant lockers between Nos .27 and 30. Martinez wears No. 28.
There was lots of laughter from reporters and a pause from the supervisor.
“You man concentrate,” Lovullo lastly mentioned. “Yeah, I believe 28 and 29 are numbers which might be out there.”
However Lovullo had nothing to say about any progress in convincing Martinez to re-sign.
“Stated it many instances,” he mentioned. “J.D. was an enormous a part of our ball membership. I do know there are 30 groups he’s out there to. I’ll go away it at that. I don’t know anything. I simply know he was a most important motive why we carried out the way in which we did final season down the stretch.”
Standard knowledge on the time was that Martinez priced himself out of the Diamondbacks’ wage scale along with his monster half-season with Arizona, following his commerce to the Diamondbacks from Detroit. It’s additionally true that Martinez has a long-term contract supply with Boston, however it’s smaller than he and agent Scott Boras consider is deserved. So there apparently has been some considered coming again to Arizona, the place he cherished the clubhouse environment and would get to play within the outfield quite than at his less-preferred function as designated hitter with the Purple Sox.
He has mentioned many good issues in regards to the Diamondbacks.
“I don’t know precisely what he’s saying,” Lovullo mentioned. “I’d simply say the sensation might be very mutual. Should you’re saying he had some complementary issues to say about this group, we really feel the identical method. To be sincere with you, it doesn’t shock me. It is a particular place. We consider in our gamers. We love our gamers. We enable our gamers to exit and carry out and we get pleasure from their success as a lot as they do.”
The pitchers labored out in a cool, mild rain — a far cry from the record-breaking warmth of latest days — and there have been loads of acquainted faces. Your entire beginning rotation of Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin, Joaquin Walker and Zack Godley return.
“I’ve been on the document saying that our beginning pitchers had been a really, very robust motive for the success of our group final yr,” Lovullo mentioned. “To get all these again wholesome, prepared, yet one more yr skilled, goes to be an excellent place to begin for us. It doesn’t imply that we simply go as much as the beginning line and run the race and count on to win. We’ve obtained to get again to who we consider and know that we’re. I believe that’s a superb group to construct round. We really feel superb about our starters.”
Robbie Ray, 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 28 video games final season, loves the familiarity.
“That is just about the identical crew,” he mentioned. “The core guys are again and we all know what we have to do and we ready for it final yr and we’re going to arrange for it once more final yr.”
The Diamondbacks earned the No. 1 wild-card spot within the Nationwide League and beat Colorado earlier than being swept by the Dodgers within the NLDS.
“The primary yr you don’t know what to anticipate with a brand new supervisor and entrance workplace however it was nice,” Ray mentioned. “The clubhouse dynamic was wonderful. Simply with the ability to come into this yr and have that comfortability is nice.”
A serious chore this spring will likely be figuring out the again finish of the bullpen. Nearer Fernando Rodney is gone and there are not less than three candidates — dynamic setup man Archie Bradley, newly acquired Brad Boxberger and Japanese acquisition Yoshi Hirano.
The wildly well-liked Bradley is undoubtedly the individuals’s alternative however he was additionally extraordinarily efficient within the eighth inning function and would possibly see it constantly expanded to multiple inning a la Cleveland’s Andrew Miller. Or he would possibly win the nearer job outright.
“I believe I’m a starter deep at coronary heart, however I simply need the ball, and I simply wish to win,” Bradley mentioned. “So no matter function, no matter inning, let’s do it.”