Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training: March 24, 2021
Seven days remain until Opening Day. Here are the news and updates from Arizona Diamondbacks spring training for March 24, 2021.
Manager Torey Lovullo did not discuss any rotation or depth chart questions. They’re still evaluating guys, and he doesn’t feel it’s fair to answer those questions while people are still competing. Not only that, “things change so rapidly, and I don’t want to backtrack.”
Daulton Varsho had to fight for his roster spot. Right now, he needs more work in the box before he will see consistent major league playing time. The team felt it would be best for him to get that work in Reno. While in Reno, he will probably get more time as a catcher than he will as an outfielder.
Kole Calhoun will get some at-bats off live pitching soon. Lovullo did not remember the exact date. Zac Gallen played catch again Wednesday and felt fine. No change in the timeline yet, though.
Reunion with Asdrubal Cabrera
About 15 years ago, Torey managed young infielder Asdrubal Cabrera in the minors. Now they are in the same dugout again, with Cabrera on the roster as an infielder. “It was awfully fun to reconnect with him and get a chance to see him on Zoom (prior to spring training). Obviously, the smiles came back immediately. We reminisced about some of the old times — some of the good times.
“(Cabrera) raced through the system so quick and got up to the big leagues and helped the (Cleveland) Indians on their quest to reach the playoffs and capture the AL Central. I remember mostly as a big leaguer that he was a hard-working shortstop. He was a young switch-hitter trying to connect some dots to be a complete hitter. (Asdrubal) worked extremely hard.” Lovullo used to take video of Cabrera taking grounders at shortstop and show them to his son, who was “a young kid at the time.” Reuniting with him was “pretty special to both of us.”
David Peralta Volunteers with COVID Vaccinations
It felt good for Peralta to both get vaccinated and to help the community to do so. “I was happy to do it,” he said with his trademark smile. It was a different experience for him, but he had a good time. Volunteering was important to him because he places a high value on helping the community. He received a vaccination at the end of his day. He felt no side effects, other than being slightly sore around the injection site.
While volunteering, his job was customer service. “Freight Train was fixing problems — helping everyone get through the line…. It was a long day, but it was different. It was out of my routine.”
Some people recognized him, but not many. He was covered up quite a bit due to the cold, damp weather. Reactions ranged from looks of recognition but not wanting to say anything to “Hi, David!”
Lovullo has been “extremely impressed” with the quality of at-bats that Josh Rojas is getting. Wednesday night, he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBI in an exhibition against Cleveland. “He’s done a lot right. It’s more than the base hits that he’s getting — it’s the balls that he’s swinging at and the balls that he’s not swinging at.” He is also playing excellent defense with what Lovullo described as “a nose for the baseball.” One thing Lovullo has looked for is someone who is “comfortable” at shortstop, and Rojas has shown that. “He’s done as much as he can to open my eyes,” Lovullo said.
Jon Duplantier has returned from his finger injury. His place on the roster is still up in the air, but he’s “still in the competition” for a relief role.