Diamondbacks Spring Training 2022 Report: April 5

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Diamondbacks Spring Training: April 5, 2022

PHOENIX, Apr. 5 — The Arizona Diamondbacks wrapped up Spring Training 2022 with a 12:40 pm exhibition game at Chase Field against the Cleveland Guardians. Diamondbacks righty Zac Gallen started the game, facing Guardians righty Aaron Civale. The Diamondbacks prevailed, 3–1.

Torey Lovullo Pregame

Manager Torey Lovullo announced that the pitching rotation will be Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly, Zach Davies, Caleb Smith, and Zac Gallen. Caleb Smith, Lovullo said, “earned it. We talked about the challenge of spring training and that it was gonna be competitive. And we sent out some guys that did some really good things for us last year. It wasn’t that he defaulted in this position. He went out and did everything he was supposed to do. We feel like he’s got the track record. He’s done it before. It’s just a matter of going out, being consistent, and getting that opportunity.

“We wanted to give him this opportunity to show us what he’s been doing in spring training, that it could possibly continue and help us win baseball games. I went out to Peoria yesterday to watch his final outing of the spring. He was able to make adjustments, was giving great feedback (pitching coach Brent Strom) and getting good instruction from (Strom), accepting it, going out, and executing it. That was a key point for me yesterday.”

There are a few middle relief spots being finalized, so Lovullo will hold off on announcing which relievers have made the major league roster, outside of Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy. However, Lovullo said, “You guys know who the candidates are. You’re following who is who is been throwing the ball well. They come into games at certain times in certain matchups, and they’ve done everything they’re supposed to. So you can make certain assumptions. I just can’t finalize that yet.” He was likely referring to Noe Ramirez, J.B. Wendelken, Sean Poppen, and Joe Mantiply, at minimum.

Zac Gallen

Zac Gallen threw 51 pitches in the exhibition game. He did not seem pleased at the timing of his replacement, and he calmly confirmed this when interviewed afterwards. “I was under the impression I got 55,” he said. “It was more about working out of that situation, not necessarily the pitch count. I knew at some pitches left, but they were opting on the conservative side.”

Gallen said that his shoulder feels fine. He added that wishes he could have one more start before the regular season but feels that he’ll be okay. “Not being on the (injured list), making that first start is fine by me. If they have to push it back a few days, it is what it is. That’s fine by me. Obviously, I would like to have been with everybody else in terms of being built up to the sixth inning for the first (start). I’ll just have to be a little bit more efficient, then, on Tuesday to get through. Maybe they’ll let me go six if I make it efficient enough.”

His pitches were, for the most part, moving the way he wanted to on Tuesday. “Spin and fastballs were there. Change up was still kind of a work in progress. I’m just trying to get that feel back. It’s there, but I think (I need) a little bit more repetition.”

Torey Lovullo Postgame

Lovullo said that this game was “a good way to close out the spring. We got really good pitching, some timely hitting from younger players, and were picking up the baseball. That’s something that really got me fired up, but we need to keep doing it. We need to keep working as hard as we possibly can and prepping for games like this, because I expect our defense to perform at the very high level I’ve been watching over the course of the spring.”

In the top of the third, the Guardians had runners on the corners with one out and a run already in. Shortstop Amed Rosario hit a sharp grounder to his counterpart, Geraldo Perdomo. Perdomo made a diving stop and tossed backhanded to second, beginning a side-retiring 6-4-3 double play. About that play, Lovullo said, “Double plays are unbelievable, right? You go from a base set, first and third, to getting two outs in one play, so we pride ourselves on that.

“Double plays need to be turned. There’s no excuse for them not to be when you get a ground ball. Our pitchers are putting the ball on the ground, I expect that ball to be turned. It’s a two-punch thing. The shortstop’s got to make a good play and feed the ball to the second baseman, who’s gotta make a good turn. It’s a great team concept, and there’s a lot of rally points around it.”

Looking Ahead

Spring Training 2022 has ended for the Diamondbacks. Their next game comes on Thursday, which is Opening Day for the 2022 season. Diamondbacks lefty Madison Bumgarner will face San Diego Padres righty Yu Darvish at 6:40 pm Arizona Time. This will be the first Opening Day at Chase Field since 2018, when the Diamondbacks hosted and beat the Colorado Rockies, 8–2.

Main Photo:

Diamondbacks spring training
PHOENIX (Apr 5) — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen faces Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan in the second inning of Cactus League action at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks won, 3–1. (Photo by Evan Thompson)

Players mentioned:

Zac Gallen, Aaron Civale, Torey Lovullo, Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly, Zach Davies, Caleb Smith, Brent Strom, Mark Melancon, Ian Kennedy, Noe Ramirez, J.B. Wendelken, Sean Poppen, Joe Mantiply, Amed Rosario, Geraldo Perdomo, Yu Darvish