Diamondbacks Spring Training 2022 Report: March 17

Diamondbacks Spring Training
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Diamondbacks Spring Training: March 17, 2022

Thursday brought the first exhibition game of Diamondbacks Spring Training 2022. Diamondbacks players went through more defensive drills, bullpen sessions, and live batting practice. While the vast majority of the 40-man roster members were still going through these drills, several minor leaguers played in the exhibition game against the Colorado Rockies.

Torey Lovullo Pre-game

Manager Torey Lovullo said that some of the Diamondbacks 40-man roster players were better prepared than expected when they showed up to spring training. Consequently, “I feel strongly that we’re going to see a couple major league players get into the lineup over the weekend.” Lovullo continued that it could be at some point on Saturday or Sunday.

Ketel Marte is still improving from his eye injury. On Thursday he took batting practice in an indoor cage because he is “battling some brightness issues.” Lovullo is not worried, however, saying that Marte is “in a good spot right now.”

Non-roster invitee Matt Davidson is in the mix for the third base job. Lovullo has been “watching very closely” and is “impressed with the way he’s swinging the bat.” His defensive metrics are “adequate,” so Lovullo feels he’s “going to be just fine.” The key will be if he gets “swinging the bat” the way the team wants their third baseman to do it.

Tommy Henry

Starting pitcher Tommy Henry, who pitched in Double-A Amarillo in 2021, pitched three innings. He faced 10 hitters, with the only blemish being a solo home run by designated hitter Bret Boswell. Henry struck out one while walking none, inducing soft contact from every hitter except Boswell.

Henry said after the game that he was trying to “pound the zone and get ahead of guys.” Once ahead, he used a lot of off-speed pitches to finish guys off. His goal was to “force contact, force action, and see what happens. And good things happened today. It was really as simple as that.”

Torey Lovullo Post-game

Lovullo praised his minor-leaguer’s effort after the game. “Tommy was fantastic,” he beamed. “I know he was probably a little anxious, a little nervous, but he got up there and made some pitches. He executed a good game plan. I was really impressed by him.”

Lovullo said about the game, “We had three guys (from the) big league camp throwing the baseball (today). But I wasn’t necessarily too concerned about watching them. I was really excited about watching some of these younger players and watching what they look like on the dirt between the lines. This is first time I’ve really seen several of them from the dugout level while they’re playing a baseball game. I’ve watched a lot of games on these backfields, but it’s a little different when you’re sitting next to them or getting feedback from them. So it was good for me to watch.

“Super, Super, Super Excited”

Exactly one week prior to this press conference, there was still “no baseball,” in the words of Cameron Cox of KPNX-TV (12 News). Little did Lovullo know that he’d be managing an exhibition game a week later. He reflected, “It was great. I said in pregame there’s nothing better for me, personally, than walking down that tunnel. Stepping onto the field, I see the green grass and fans in the stands. It’s super exciting.

“We’ve been on this journey here for the past several days to make today happen. A week ago, I was hoping something like this would happen. So everything’s behind us. There’s some common ground. Everybody cared enough to get us back on the field. And I’m super, super, super excited about that.”

Looking Ahead in Diamondbacks Spring Training 2022

Diamondbacks spring training continues Friday, March 18. They will hold camp in the morning before another 1 pm game against this same Colorado Rockies team. This time, the Diamondbacks will be the “home” team at their shared field. Lefty Kyle Nelson will start for the Diamondbacks against Rockies right-hander Zach Neal.

Main Photo:

Diamondbacks Spring Training
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 17, 2022) — Madison Bumgarner of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches to David Peralta in batting practice at Salt River Fields. Carson Kelly is the catcher. (Photo by Evan Thompson)

Players/managers mentioned:

Torey Lovullo, Ketel Marte, Matt Davidson, Tommy Henry, Kyle Nelson, Zach Neal