Split Personality

One of the nuances of Spring Training is the concept of Split Squad contests. For those who have never been to Spring Training this term may not be completely familiar. Split squad allows a team to divide and play two games in a single day. This gives player development personnel an opportunity to view players in a game situation. It also gives more players an opportunity to impress the coaches. The Diamondbacks typically have three or four split squad games every spring. The first split squad is normally scheduled during the first week of Spring Training. The final split squad game is normally just before the team breaks camp to begin the regular season. The value of the first split squad game is to allow the team to assess which players should be assigned to minor league camp. It also gives the regulars a chance to limit their work this soon into the beginning of Spring Training which will hopefully keep them healthy.

This first split squad game always has special meaning to the Diamondbacks. One game is typically played at Tucson Electric Park and normally features either the Chicago White Sox or the Colorado Rockies. The second game is what makes this unique. It is normally held in Hermosillo Mexico and gives Diamondbacks fans south of the border an opportunity to see their team. There does not appear to be a lot of rhyme or reason for which players are assigned to which split squad although the Diamondbacks do attempt to send a lot of their Hispanic players to play in Hermosillo to allow the fans to see some of their local heroes. In today’s contest the Arizona Diamondbacks sent Edgar Gonzalez with his new short-haired look to Mexico to be the starter. Edgar fed off the local crowd and did very well not allowing a run in his 2 innings of work. Meanwhile north in Tucson the Diamondbacks sent lefty Doug Davis to the mound. Davis like Gonzalez worked two scoreless innings. It is already becoming obvious that the Diamondbacks pitching staff is indeed going to be formidable this season. It looked as though the games would be split with the Diamondbacks winning in Tucson while losing in Hermosillo. That all changed though when the Diamondbacks came from behind scoring 3 runs in the ninth inning to earn a rare double win on the same day. It was an exciting time for the fans at both games as the Diamondbacks offense showed that they should not be counted out scoring 19 runs between the two games. These two wins were the first for Arizona this Spring Training and raises their record to a respectable 2-2-1 even though these games don’t count.

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