Diamondbacks Spring Training 2022 Report: March 19

Diamondbacks spring training

Diamondbacks Spring Training: March 19, 2022

Saturday brought the first road exhibition game of Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training 2022. Diamondbacks players went through more defensive drills, bullpen sessions, and live batting practice at camp in the morning. In the afternoon, a squad headed to Tempe Diablo Stadium to face Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and the rest of the Los Angeles Angels.

Torey Lovullo Pre-game

Manager Torey Lovullo said that the next step for Zac Gallen is to throw a live batting practice session. Gallen told Lovullo that he “felt good yesterday (Friday),” in a conversation the two had in the training room earlier Saturday. Lovullo said it is “very encouraging, really, from knowing these guys and looking at their face and having that tell me a story that matches their stuff.”

Right-handed reliever J.B. Bukauskas has a Grade Two Teres major strain and will miss months, not weeks. It happened during his pitching outing against the Rockies, but not on the last pitch he threw. He “felt some discomfort” and told the training staff, who checked him out and made the discovery. Lovullo said that reporting the injury was “a lesson learned for all of us, because we encourage these players to step up and speak up when something happens. They see it as a sign of weakness when they say, ‘Hey, something’s wrong, call the trainer.’ But to me, that’s a sign of strength when you’re able to stop the action and say (you) need a little assistance. If it’s nothing, then reload the next day.”

Ketel Marte took batting practice Saturday and “looks very good” and “very strong.” He will wear some “designer glasses” as his eye continues to heal. Eventually, he will be back in his contacts.

Dan Straily

Dan Straily pitched three innings, giving up seven runs (all earned) on nine hits. He gave up two homers while walking none and striking out three. Despite the seven runs, Straily “felt great.” He continued, “I came in with the mindset (to) fill up the strike zone. As Brent (Strohm, the pitching coach) pointed out to me, I did that a little too well. (There were) a lot of first-pitch hits. A lot of first-pitch hacking stuff that we did’t really expect. But the goal was to throw strikes. Obviously, I wanted to put up all zeroes and wasn’t able to do that, but I filled up the strike zone. So we got that done.”

David Peralta

Left fielder David Peralta had a nice day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a first-inning homer, a third-inning double, and two runs scored. Peralta said he’s been “working a lot in the offseason” on his mechanics, specifically his timing at the plate. “Now this hard work is paying off. First at-bat, I felt pretty good swinging at the ball, and feel like it’s coming back.”

Peralta worked on keeping his hands back longer before taking his swing. He said it will allow him to “see the ball better” so he can be “more in touch with the fastball” because “that was a little bit of my problem last year.” The goal is to “not rush everything…. Wait for the ball and just react.” His first-inning home run was a perfect example, since he waited back and drove a fastball into the left-field berm for an opposite-field home run.

In the offseason, Peralta worked almost daily with close friend Michael Brantley, who lives “ten minutes away” from Peralta. “He’s one of the best in the business at being consistent,” Peralta said. Brantley called him and made the offer, which Peralta appreciated.

Torey Lovullo Post-game

Lovullo praised the early results of Peralta’s off-season adjustments. “He hits a ball down the left-field line for an opposite-field home run. Then he hits a hard double to the right-center-field gap on a nice, short swing. Those are the things that that I looked at today. It’s something to keep building on.”

About Straily, Lovullo said, “You look at the line score, it was a situation where there were some early-count swings. He was putting the ball on the plate, and there were several first-pitch fastballs that (the Angels) did a nice job on. There was a point in time for a batter or two where he mixed his pitches well.  I think there’s got to be a good mixture of pitches for him that will enable him to get through those types of situations. They were all in ambush mode and jumped on him.”

Lovullo took some positives from the 12–5 loss. “We picked up the baseball defensively and moved at a pretty good pace defensively. Everybody wants to know about the final outcome, but I’m not going to focus on that right now.”

It is often good to have games that expose problems needing work early on. That applied today with both Straily and Bryce Jarvis. Lovullo said, “Jarvis made some mistakes over the middle of the plate, and good hitters are gonna make you pay for those. We got to do a little bit better job altogether from a pitching standpoint, particularly Straily. Yeah, we’re here to evaluate them. We’ll be keying in on it, and I’m sure (Strom) will go back to the drawing board with them. Get that one out of the way and see what happens from here on.”

Looking Ahead in Diamondbacks Spring Training

Diamondbacks spring training continues Sunday, March 20. They will hold camp in the morning before a 1 pm away game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. Prospect Brandon Pfaadt will take the mound for the Diamondbacks against Jackson Kowar in a matchup of right-handers. Lovullo said that Josh Rojas, Pavin Smith, and Daulton Varsho, who sat out Saturday’s game, will play on Sunday.

Main Photo:

Diamondbacks spring training
TEMPE, Ariz. (Mar. 19) — Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels digs in against pitcher Dan Straily of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Cactus League action. The Angels won, 12–5. (Photo by Evan Thompson)

Players/managers/coaches mentioned:

Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Torey Lovullo, Zac Gallen, J.B. Bukauskas, Ketel Marte, Dan Straily, David Peralta, Michael Brantley, Bryce Jarvis, Brandon Pfaadt, Jackson Kowar, Josh Rojas, Pavin Smith, Daulton Varsho