Diamondbacks Spring Training: March 21, 2022

Diamondbacks Spring Training: March 21, 2022

Monday opened the second week of 2022 Arizona Diamondbacks spring training. Diamondbacks players completed more defensive drills, bullpen sessions and live batting practices at camp in the morning. In the afternoon, they held an exhibition game against the Seattle Mariners. Humberto Castellanos was the starting pitcher.

Prior to the pre-game press conference, the team announced that 40-year-old veteran reliever Oliver Perez had joined the team as a minor league free agent with an invitation to practice from spring. The Diamondbacks also claimed left-handed reliever Caleb Baragar from San Francisco Giants waivers.

Torey Lovullo Pregame

Manager Torey Lovullo said of Perez: “He’s here to compete. It was good to finally meet him. I watched him play from the opposing dugout for a long time. (Perez) coming in here and potentially coming back for the Arizona Diamondbacks is something that excites him. So are we, but we have to see what he looks like. (He has to) compete and show us what he can do. Nothing will be given to anyone at this stage. We know the record and know things and know the guy, but we want to see the result when he comes out on the mound.

Perez, if made on the roster, will give the relief corps a veteran presence that the team lacked in 2021. “We think that was an important area for us after last season,” Lovullo said. “I like veteran leadership and I like guys who know what it takes to prepare to recover. Guys with good heartbeats who’ve been battle tested. That’s definitely the situation for (Perez) But getting him here and watching him pitch is the most important thing for me right now.

Other programming notes

Madison Bumgarner will start on Tuesday and will pitch three innings/45 pitches. If you count five days after tomorrow until the end for the rest of spring training, that’s opening day. “But we haven’t had any of those conversations with those guys yet,” Lovullo said.

Kennedy will pitch a relief inning on Tuesday.

Merrill Kelly will start on Wednesday.

Josh VanMeter replaces Ketel Marte at second base. Once Marte gets his medical clearance, which was expected later Monday, VanMeter will get reps at third base. If Marte is shut out, he will be the designated hitter on Tuesday.

David Peralta

Left fielder David Peralta had another great offensive outing, going 1 for 3 with a home run and two deep drives for strikeouts. Peralta said her performance “feels good. Like I (said on Saturday), I worked hard in the offseason to get my timing and (the weather me) down. All that hard work is paying off right now. My pace is really good right now. I take it field by field and I get good results. He is particularly pleased that his two home runs were opposite shots. “I came back to my strength and my approach,” he said.

Peralta worked in the offseason to be lighter on his feet. He said he is able to do “everything” more easily on the pitch now. But above all, it makes him feel good that even his withdrawals are being hit hard. “It always feels good to shoot,” smiled Peralta. “It doesn’t matter if it’s an out. It always makes you feel (that you are) on the right track now.

Torey Lovullo after game

After the Diamondbacks’ 9-1 victory, Lovullo said, “Winning the baseball game makes the day a little cleaner. There are some things we need to work on. We’ll do it, but I thought we had some good innings going early. (Castellanos) was doing a good job attacking the area and mixing up the pitches. The guys in the back did a good job attacking the area and making adjustments from pitch to pitch. These are the things we seek, because we know they will not be refined and perfect. Feel something, make a quality fit, come back after the zone. So I was very happy with what we did on the mound. Backend pitchers referenced by Lovullo were Melancon, Jesus Liranzo, Luis Frias, Matt Peacock, Kyle Nelson and Sean Poppen.

Lovullo also praised his hitters. “Offensively (we had) good approaches. We hit three home runs. When you see a home run from the opposite field with a bit of backspin, your swing plane is well placed. We saw a lot of really good approaches where we drove the baseball to the opposite field, (which was equivalent to) hitting the other way. So I feel like we’re in a really, really good place there.

Safer David Peralta

Lovullo said of his left fielder, “I talked about staying behind the baseball from a hitting perspective. When you do that, your timing is right, and it’s going to yield a lot of really good results. I like things that happen on the pull side, but I want mid-diamond line drives with baseball backspin potential.

“David is really well placed. He flew away in one of his appearances on set that marked me. He had a great swing plane, but barely missed that ball.

“His timing is in the right place. I think he has a few things he worked on with Joe (Mather, the batting coach). This results in really well hit baseballs. He takes the baseballs and allows the balls he’s not supposed to hit to pass through the area (without) offering them. It’s a very good place to be right now.

Look forward

The Diamondbacks’ spring training continues on Tuesday, March 22. They’ll hold camp in the morning before a 1 p.m. home game against the Texas Rangers. Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for the Diamondbacks against Kolby Allard in a southpaw matchup.

Main photo:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 21, 2022) – The Arizona Diamondbacks practice during spring training drills at Salt River Fields. (Photo by Evan Thompson)

Mentioned players:

Humberto Castellanos, Olivier Perez, Caleb Baragar, Joe Mather, Torey Lovullo, Marc Melancon, Ian Kennedy, Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly, Josh VanMeter, Ketel Marte, David Peralta, Jesus Liranzo, Louis Frias, Matt Peacock, Kyle Nelson, Sean Poppen, Kolby Allard

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