March 30, 2011
While the fans may have been dormant during the off-season the Arizona Diamondbacks were far from idle. A lot of the hard work the team put in is on the diamond with multiple changes made to a roster that has finished in the cellar of the National League West for two straight years.
It was not just the on-field product that has gone through a facelift. With Arizona scheduled to host the 2011 All-Star game at Chase Field the team has been busy modifying and upgrading parts of the facility to make it state of the art.
Continue reading ‘Chase Field Changes’ »
March 29, 2011
September 26, 2010 seems so very long ago. The Arizona Diamondbacks were finishing up their final home stand and not even with a win over their divisional rivals could ease the pain of knowing this was the last time I would be watching baseball at Chase Field until next March.
It sounded so final, “next March” like it was some distant relative that you never saw and weren’t quite sure you would ever see again. Oh sure there was still baseball to be played but it would be in what may as well have been a foreign country.
Continue reading ‘It’s Good To Be Home’ »
March 28, 2011
It seems like only yesterday I was counting down the minutes until the gates would open at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Now looking at the calendar it is the Diamondbacks final game of their inaugural season at the new stadium.
The complex opened to rave reviews and a sold out crowd. Each game at Salt River Fields saw some of the largest crowds in the Cactus League. While other teams were seeing a slight reduction in attendance the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks played to a full house.
Continue reading ‘And So It Ends’ »
February 21, 2011
Saturday February 19 marked the voluntary Spring Training reporting date for non-pitchers and catchers. You would have been hard pressed to guess that at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the new Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Position players could be seen working out at the facility as soon as it was opened.
Among those who arrived early was right fielder Justin Upton. Upton appeared to be in great shape a result of a more stringent off-season workout program. It wasn’t just showing up early that impressed me about Upton. He seemed very dialed in more so than I can imagine the last couple of years.
Continue reading ‘Upton Focused as Spring Training Starts’ »
February 20, 2011
During the off-season I happened to be looking over the Major League Baseball transaction log when I came across a rather nondescript signing. It simply said, “The Arizona Diamondbacks sign outfielder Wily Mo Pena to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.”
Pena was once identified as a no-miss prospect with an unlimited ceiling. He was to be a superstar in the game. After signing with the New York Mets, Pena was traded to the New York Yankees where he started his professional career. A year later he was traded to Cincinnati and made his Major League debut on September 10, 2002 becoming the youngest member of the National League.
Continue reading ‘Wily Mo Puts on Power Display’ »
February 19, 2011
The Arizona Diamondbacks invited special guests to an exclusive event held at the new Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The event called D-backs Baseball Interactive gave fans a behind the scenes tour of the new Spring Training facility and an opportunity to experience Spring Training with the team.
The day started with fans gathering on the Pepsi Patio deck where Diamondbacks officials welcomed them. The Pepsi Patio is one of three party decks at the new stadium and is situated on top of the press box of the main stadium. On the third base side and one level below is the Miller Light Taste Zone deck while the first base patio is named the Coors Light Cold Zone.
Continue reading ‘Diamondbacks Baseball Interactive’ »
February 18, 2011
Almost from the moment that super utility man Michael Young demanded a trade from the American League Champion Texas Rangers, teams seem to be lining up to inquire about a trade. The Arizona Diamondbacks were among those who called.
With the Diamondbacks shipping third baseman Mark Reynolds and his 200 plus strikeouts per year to the Baltimore Orioles, the team has a substantial hole in their infield that Young could fill. Presently Arizona is going into Spring Training with Melvin Mora likely to get most of the playing time at the hot corner. Clearly Young would be a substantial upgrade.
Continue reading ‘Arizona in the Michael Young Sweepstakes?’ »
February 17, 2011
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced they have signed first baseman Russell Branyan to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Just a day before position players can report to the new Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers is still attempting to rework a roster that saw the team mired in last place the previous two years.
Branyan fits Towers definition of what he is trying to instill in the ball club; a veteran presence that is capable of adding depth to the 25-man roster and provide competition at each position. Branyan will battle youngsters Juan Miranda and Brandon Allen for time at first base.
Continue reading ‘Diamondbacks Sign Russell Branyan’ »
February 16, 2011
When pitchers and catchers reported to the new Scottsdale Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, there was one name that was missing. Left-hander Clay Zavada who burst onto the scene in 2009 did not arrive Sunday for his scheduled physical and was not in the clubhouse when pitchers began their workouts on Monday.
General Manager Kevin Towers and Manager Kirk Gibson both admitted they were unaware of a reason for Zavada’s absence. When Tuesday came and Zavada was again not in camp Towers reached out to Zavada’s agent to inquire where the lefty was and if he would be attending Spring Training.
Continue reading ‘Clay Zavada Arrives at Diamondbacks Camp’ »