Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly: “We’re Gonna Be in a Good Spot”
Madison Bumgarner was one of the pitchers in the intrasquad game. According to Kelly, he “looked good. He was executing his pitches. (Bumgarner) went out there with a plan, stuck to it, and did a really good job.” Kelly later added, “He’s ready to go – he’s a fierce competitor who holds himself to a high standard.”
Bumgarner and Kelly have already developed a good relationship, and it’s continuing to improve. “Every time we go out there, and every time I catch him (or even) play catch, we always strike up a conversation. ‘Hey, will this help me?’ He’s always trying to learn. He takes that mound, and he’s a fierce competitor who has a plan, but he’s always trying to learn. That’s something that’s great. It’s going to help our team and help him as well.”
The Rest of the Starting Rotation
Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver have stuck out to Kelly so far in summer camp. About Weaver: “To see that ball explode out of his hand, the poise – it seems like he’s coming into his own.” Ray “looks really good. He’s enhanced a few of his pitches – his slider and his curveball.”
Zac Gallen is “another guy who has stood out.” Back in the spring, outfielder David Peralta told this reporter that Gallen’s cutter was working well – describing it as “nasty.” When that was mentioned to Kelly, he nodded deeply in agreement. “That cutter and change-up, the command of the heater – we’ve got some guys that can throw the ball. Collectively, we’re gonna be in a good spot.”
Archie Bradley faced Bumgarner in Thursday’s intrasquad game. This matched two of the fiercest competitors on not only the Diamondbacks but in the entire NL West. Kelly certainly enjoyed that. “It’s great when you can get some competition within the team because we don’t get to do it very often. Getting out there and having both guys go at it was pretty cool – pretty fun,” Kelly said.
Afterward, Kelly noted that Bumgarner’s competitiveness has rubbed off on the rest of the club. “He’s got that presence. In every clubhouse and every team, there needs to be that guy that has that presence. He’s definitely got it. He goes out there and continues to throw the ball with authority, and he’s trying to mow everybody down, which is awesome.”
Carson Kelly has a prime locker spot between Bumgarner and fellow catcher Stephen Vogt. “We’ve got our spacing, though,” Kelly added with a grin. MLB Clubhouse protocols mandate that all players have a minimum of six feet between their lockers.
The shortened preparation for the season does not feel rushed to Kelly. “I feel that when everything got shut down, everybody was on the same page. (They were) getting their workouts in and being prepared, physically and mentally. So right when we started camp, I felt like we were in a pretty good spot. Over the last couple of days, you could see those little baseball things start to come back. (You could see) those instincts, those quicker decisions – those are starting to come along. I think we’re in a really good spot and going to have a good year.”
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