Today was one of those Sedona Red lettered days that mark an Arizona Diamondbacks fan’s life. Today was the unofficial reporting day for all position players to report to Spring Training. I say “unofficial” because it’s not technically the day when players are required to report.
Since pitchers and catchers began reporting to the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, you could find other position players starting to roll into town to begin baseball workouts. The actual required deadline for players to be in camp is Tuesday March 2, 2010.
Given the team’s poor showing during the 2009 season you couldn’t blame some of the Arizona Diamondbacks players for wanting to delay reporting as long as possible. Losing 92 games can get to a guy no matter who they are.
Instead, the majority of players invited to Spring Training chose to come to camp early to get a head start on the spring and ultimately the season. Third baseman Mark Reynolds along with outfielders Justin Upton and Chris Young were there as camp opened eager to get back onto the field.
Both Reynolds and Upton were looking forward to getting onto the field so that the conversation would turn away from the ongoing discussions their agents are having on long-term deals with the Diamondbacks.
Young was looking forward to putting behind him the dismal season he had for most of 2009. When he arrived he looked relaxed and ready to start fresh. Hopefully he can build on his September last season and reclaim his spot in the line-up.
Manager AJ Hinch has so far expressed his confidence in the center fielder and spoke glowingly of Young’s potential and his importance to the success of the team. I think everyone is hoping Young can straighten out the swing mechanic issues he was having last season when he became the Diamondbacks personal rainmaker peppering the sky above Chase Field with pop-ups.
Catcher Chris Snyder who reported to camp last week is looking especially strong and seems to be fully recovered from his back surgery last August. Both Snyder and Miguel Montero are capable of being the Diamondbacks starting catcher so it will be interesting to see how Hinch will juggle their playing time.
On the first day of full squad workouts the atmosphere is loose and the players all seem confident they can show 2009 a statistical anomaly. Considering the transactions the Diamondbacks have made this off season and comparing those with the other teams in the National League West; the division appears wide open.
If the mood of the team remains as upbeat as today, they might just make the fans start to believe in their chances to earn another NL West title.