Lovullo still mulling lineup options

Lovullo still mulling lineup options

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo cautioned fans and media alike not to read too much into the starting lineup he used in Wednesday's 9-1 exhibition victory over Grand Canyon University.

The first five hitters in the lineup -- A.J. Pollock, Brandon Drury, Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas certainly seemed to resemble what it might look like Opening Day against the Giants.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For starters, D-backs roll past Grand Canyon

For starters, D-backs roll past Grand Canyon

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs checked the boxes in their exhibition game against Grand Canyon University on Wednesday, as 27 players saw game action and the team came out relatively unscathed on the injury front in its 9-1 victory.

Most starters made one plate appearance before departing.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peralta returns to D-backs camp

Peralta returns to D-backs camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Outfielder David Peralta was back in D-backs' camp Wednesday after missing two days while continuing his progress towards securing his American citizenship.

Peralta said he had to fly to Florida, which is his legal residence, to have his fingerprints taken. He will have to return at some point to take a citizenship test.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

GCU's greatest alumnus: Tim Salmon

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GCU's greatest alumnus: Tim Salmon

At 3:10 p.m. ET, the first pitch of 2017 will be thrown when the D-backs take on Grand Canyon University. Sure, it won't count in the standings, and there's only one Major League team taking part, but there will be pitchers, batters, and a bevy of relievers (it is still February, after all) getting their very first game action of the year. 

GCU may not be the largest exporter of Major League talent, but the school has produced 24 Major Leaguers. Most notable is the Angels' all-time home run leader: Tim Salmon. 

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Arizona an early outpost of integration in MLB

Cactus League Hall of Fame inducts four pioneering African-American players

Arizona an early outpost of integration in MLB

The Major League Baseball landscape and the social fabric of the country were both going through a dramatic transformation when Spring Training baseball came to Arizona in 1947.

While the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson were preparing to break Major League baseball's racial barrier, the game was expanding to new western frontiers, with the Cleveland Indians and New York Giants moving their Spring Training camps to Arizona.

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Charlie Vascellaro is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs leadership likes where team stands

D-backs leadership likes where team stands

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick and team president/CEO Derrick Hall met with the media Friday just before the team's first full-squad workout of the spring and covered a variety of topics.

Here's a look at them:

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Q&A with Jimmy Eat World's Zach Lind, Jack Lind's son

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Q&A with Jimmy Eat World's Zach Lind, Jack Lind's son

Arizona-based rock band Jimmy Eat World recently announced a string of tour dates that will take them on the road with Beach Slang (in the spring) and Incubus (in the summer), in support of their new album, Integrity Blues.

It's with that context that Zach Lind, drummer and son of former MLB player and coach Jack Lind, spent some time talking with MLB.com about baseball and the similarities he sees between manning a drum kit and standing in the batter's box.

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Fan Fest venue change a success

More than 20,000 show up at Salt River Fields

Fan Fest venue change a success

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In the end, it worked out better than they could have hoped.

The 13th annual D-backs Fan Fest was a success Monday as an estimated crowd of about 20,000 showed up at Salt River Fields.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Rosa comes full circle

De La Rosa comes full circle

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jorge De La Rosa is hoping the third time around he will get a chance to pitch in the Major Leagues for the D-backs.

Signed to a Minor League deal Sunday, De La Rosa said that he chose the D-backs because he believes they have a chance to win.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte in mix for D-backs' shortstop job

Marte in mix for D-backs' shortstop job

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs infielder Ketel Marte looks comfortable in his new D-backs' workout gear. He's already made new friends inside the clubhouse and he's getting accustomed to his surroundings at Salt River Fields.

Where Marte fits on the field will be determined during Spring Training. For now, he's in competition for the starting-shortstop job that D-backs manager Torey Lovullo characterized as "wide open."

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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldy tunes out personal, team predictions

Rain washes out most of D-backs' outdoor practice

Goldy tunes out personal, team predictions

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There are lower expectations for the D-backs in 2017, at least in the minds of most baseball prognosticators, but do yourself a favor and don't bother asking first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for his reaction to them.

Goldschmidt is not on social media and while he'll read about current events, business news and other sports, you won't find him reading about himself or his team.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Playing time up in air between D-backs catchers

Mathis, Iannetta and Herrmann all expected to make Opening Day roster

Playing time up in air between D-backs catchers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It seems almost a certainty that the D-backs will have three catchers on their Opening Day roster.

How their playing time will be split up is far less certain.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs move workouts indoors due to rain

D-backs move workouts indoors due to rain

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Morning rains at Salt River Fields impacted the D-backs' training schedule for the second consecutive day, but Sunday's workout was not a wash.

"It wasn't exactly what we hoped for, but our coaches did a great job of rearranging the day today. We got exactly the type of work in that we wanted to get in," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I thought our pitchers got in and threw the ball extremely well in their first live look. All in all, the day was a success and something we could build off of."

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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs add De La Rosa on Minor League deal

Veteran left-hander rejoins club that first signed him out of Mexico

D-backs add De La Rosa on Minor League deal

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs signed veteran left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a Minor League deal.

De La Rosa, 35, who spent the last nine seasons with the Rockies, has made 241 starts during his career. He is expected to pitch out of the bullpen for Arizona.

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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lovullo recalls dad's job as TV producer

D-backs skipper got to know country legends through variety show 'Hee Haw'

Lovullo recalls dad's job as TV producer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It wasn't until the fifth grade when new D-backs manager Torey Lovullo realized that his father, Sam, had a unique job.

Sam, who passed away last month at the age of 88, was an executive producer for "Hee Haw," a TV variety show that featured country music. The show ran from 1969-71, and then for 21 years in syndication.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldschmidt eager to play for Team USA

Goldschmidt eager to play for Team USA

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Before agreeing to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt did his homework by calling players who had done so in the past to see if it impacted their preparation for the regular season.

"A lot of them said you're even more ready because you've played in some more high-stakes games rather than just Spring Training games and the competition is higher," Goldschmidt said. "Every review I got was positive."

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lovullo lays out his concepts to team

New D-backs manager addresses full squad for first time

Lovullo lays out his concepts to team

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With the first full-squad workout in the books, new D-backs manager Torey Lovullo planned on taking a breather Friday night.

"I think tonight I might sit back and watch a little TV and turn off the brain," Lovullo said.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodney arrives to D-backs camp in great physical shape

Veteran closer plans to mentor club's young relievers

Rodney arrives to D-backs camp in great physical shape

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The first thing new D-backs manager Torey Lovullo noticed about Fernando Rodney was his sense of humor. When he shook hands with his closer, he noticed something else.

"I shook his hand and hit him on the shoulder, and it was pretty impressive," Lovullo said. "He's a guy that's taken very, very good care of himself despite his age."

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Burr's truck gets the business end of a Hernandez fly ball

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Burr's truck gets the business end of a Hernandez fly ball

When a hitter really, truly squares up a pitch, the baseball doesn't stand much of a chance.

Hundreds of feet later, the sphere's journey comes to an end -- sometimes in the glove of a fan, sometimes into the middle of a tray of fancy nachos and sometimes into the unsuspecting windshield of a car in a neighboring parking lot.

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Greinke progressing, has high hopes for 2017

Greinke progressing, has high hopes for 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While 2016 did not go as expected for Zack Greinke and his Arizona D-backs teammates, the ace right-hander is confident that the script will flip in 2017.

"I still have really high hopes for our team," Greinke said. "I thought we were really good going into last year. We pretty much have the same team or a very similar team. I think we should be good. I'm shocked we didn't do better last year. We have a very talented [pitching] staff. Really good. I think we're a good team."

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grace back on TV after assistant hitting coach gig

Former analyst will be part of pre-, postgame shows on FOX Sports Arizona

Grace back on TV after assistant hitting coach gig

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Grace will return to the D-backs' broadcasting team in 2017 as part of the pre- and postgame shows on FOX Sports Arizona.

Grace served as Arizona's assistant hitting coach each of the past two seasons, but his contract was not renewed after manager Chip Hale and general manager Dave Stewart were dismissed following the 2016 campaign.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker explains his decision to wear No. 99

Walker explains his decision to wear No. 99

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- During his first three seasons with the Mariners, Taijuan Walker bided his time and waited patiently for the uniform number he wanted, the one that he had worn his entire life to that point.

In the meantime Walker was No. 27 and then No. 32 before last year, at last, No. 44 finally came free.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller putting tough 2016 firmly in the past

Miller putting tough 2016 firmly in the past

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Before heading off to his first bullpen session of 2017, right-hander Shelby Miller took a look back at his nightmarish 2016 season, which he finished with a 6.15 ERA.

"I had such a bad year, it just had a snowball effect," Miller said. "I learned a lot of things. I learned how to deal with struggling a lot. It was weird, because I had never performed that bad before in my entire life. To have to deal with it, you learn a lot of things, and you just hope to build off of that and never have it happen again."

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gardenhire diagnosed with prostate cancer

D-backs bench coach will take leave of absence to undergo surgery

Gardenhire diagnosed with prostate cancer

D-backs bench coach Ron Gardenhire announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Gardenhire, 59, said he will be taking a leave of absence from the team soon to undergo surgery to have his prostate removed.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Gardy well supported as he faces cancer fight

D-backs' new bench coach to undergo prostatectomy in April

Gardy well supported as he faces cancer fight

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- New D-backs bench coach Ron Gardenhire has prostate cancer. The news broke on Tuesday, his first day with the club. Let that sink in for a second.

The ballclub and the veteran baseball man made the announcement simultaneously, and it reverberated around the Salt River Fields training facility just after pitchers and catchers concluded their opening day of spring workouts.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.