Walker looks to earn No. 2 spot; no start yet for Greinke

Walker looks to earn No. 2 spot; no start yet for Greinke

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The D-backs went to camp this spring looking for a starter to slot behind Zack Greinke in the rotation. New acquisition Taijuan Walker took his first stab at trying to earn the No. 2 role on Tuesday against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium in an 8-4 Arizona victory.

The 24-year-old right-hander made his first start for the D-backs since offseason surgery on his right foot and the Nov. 23 trade that sent Jean Segura to the Mariners. Walker pitched two innings, allowing two hits and striking out three, while tossing 36 pitches and proclaiming afterwards that he felt no pain in the foot.

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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.

Descalso homers, Walker tosses two scoreless innings

Descalso homers, Walker tosses two scoreless innings

SURPRISE, Ariz -- Daniel Descalso's leadoff home run started a three-run fifth inning, and the D-backs went on to an 8-4 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium.

D-backs starter Taijuan Walker was sharp with two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out three in his first spring start for the D-backs after the Nov. 23 trade that sent infielder Jean Segura to the Mariners.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs participate in Glove Day

D-backs participate in Glove Day

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Christmas came early for a group of D-backs players on Tuesday morning with the arrival of the Wilson representatives, who delivered their yearly order of fielding gloves.

"This is the same glove I've been using for many years now. I just like the smaller glove for the infield," said Nick Ahmed, a slick fielding shortstop who's coming off 2016 season-ending surgery on his right hip. "I tried the bigger glove, and I just didn't like it as much. I love the I-Web. The tan leather seems to hold up better. It's sturdier. This is the glove I've been going with, and I hope it keeps working for me."

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Goldschmidt excited to represent USA in Classic

D-backs first baseman will soon leave camp

Goldschmidt excited to represent USA in Classic

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As Paul Goldschmidt is closing in on departing D-backs camp to join Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, he's growing more and more excited.

The four-time National League All-Star first baseman knows he's part of an incredible offensive machine that could create some Classic history. Though the U.S. has never ascended further than the semifinals in the first three Classics, Goldschmidt exuded the attitude that everyone wants to hear.

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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.

D-backs fund renovation of Ability360's facility

D-backs fund renovation of Ability360's facility

It was rainy in Phoenix on Tuesday, but the sun shone brightly on the unveiling of the renovated Ability360's Sports & Fitness Aquatic Center, which was funded by a $100,000 Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Award through the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.

Originally opened in late 2011, Ability360 is a 45,000-square-foot health and fitness center.

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

Corbin, D-backs fan 10 in win over Reds

Corbin, D-backs fan 10 in win over Reds

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Patrick Corbin took a good first step in his bid to secure a spot in the D-backs' rotation by tossing a pair of scoreless innings Monday afternoon as Arizona beat the Reds, 6-1, at Salt River Fields.

Corbin, who struggled while in the rotation last season and wound up being moved to the bullpen in August, did not allow a hit while walking one and striking out three.

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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.

R. De La Rosa nearing return to mound

R. De La Rosa nearing return to mound

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rubby De La Rosa said he plans on throwing off a mound in two weeks for the first time since last September.

De La Rosa missed most of 2016 with elbow issues and in an attempt to avoid having a second Tommy John surgery he has twice undergone stem-cell treatment.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Breaking down the D-backs' Top 30 list

Void of Top 100 Prospects, D-backs' system needs a couple more years

Breaking down the D-backs' Top 30 list

New general manager Mike Hazen and his staff have some work to do.

Not long ago, the D-backs had a solid, albeit not elite-level, farm system. It usually had a nice smattering of Top 100 prospects to help lead it. A year ago, top prospect Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair were sent to the Braves and then Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley graduated off of the list. With no one stepping up to fill in the void, Arizona has no Top 100 prospects for the first time in the seven years Prospect Watch rankings started appearing (2011).

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shipley surrenders three runs in spring debut

Rusin allows hit in 2 innings; Arizona's Shipley gives up 3 runs in 1 2/3

Shipley surrenders three runs in spring debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado hit solo homers as the Rockies defeated the D-backs, 6-1, on Sunday in Cactus League play.

Blackmon's leadoff homer, off D-backs starter Braden Shipley, was familiar -- he had 10 leadoff homers last season and has 22 in his career. Arenado homered in the third off Tyler Jones.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodney catching up, throws 2nd live batting practice

Shipley feels 'back to normal' in first spring start

Rodney catching up, throws 2nd live batting practice

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs closer Fernando Rodney threw his second live batting-practice session of the spring Sunday.

"I thought really good," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said when asked how Rodney looked. "Fastball command was down in the zone, which is always a positive for me. Threw some great changeups that were falling out of the zone."

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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.

Reliever Barrett slowed by stiffness in shoulder

Reliever Barrett slowed by stiffness in shoulder

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jake Barrett, one of the leading candidates for a spot in the D-backs' bullpen, has been bothered this spring by shoulder stiffness and has yet to throw a bullpen session.

Barrett threw a couple of bullpens prior to camp opening before experiencing the stiffness.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

6 prospects graduate from D-backs' Dominican academy

6 prospects graduate from D-backs' Dominican academy

BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic -- Jesus Munoz stood proud on the stage on Saturday in front of his peers, family and friends at the D-backs' Dominican academy and grinned.

To the teenager's left sat a group of front-office officials that included D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick, president and CEO Derrick Hall and special assistant to the president Randy Johnson. Junior Noboa, the club's vice president of Latin American operations, as well as senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer Marian Rhodes were perched near his side.

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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.

Miller 'comfortable and confident' after spring opener

After 2 solid frames, righty says he's ahead of where he was last year

Miller 'comfortable and confident' after spring opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It is only Spring Training. Shelby Miller knows this, but the D-backs right-hander also remembers not only how poorly his 2016 regular season went, but also that he didn't feel comfortable even in the spring.

So, after retiring the Rockies 1-2-3 in the first inning and nearly pitching out of a jam in the second in Saturday's 8-4 Cactus League loss, forgive him if he allows himself to feel good about things.

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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.

Lamb launches homer in D-backs' opener

Lamb launches homer in D-backs' opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ian Desmond made his Rockies debut Saturday and went 3-for-3 with an RBI as Colorado beat Arizona, 8-4, in the Cactus League opener for both teams at Salt River Fields.

Desmond, who was signed by the Rockies in December to a five-year, $70 million free-agent deal, played first base, a new position for him.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Hazen, Lovullo aim to win while building

New D-backs GM, manager want to exceed expectations

Hazen, Lovullo aim to win while building

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Torey Lovullo has been everywhere in baseball. And on Saturday, he was exactly where he has always wanted to be. Lovullo was seated in a folding chair adjacent to the D-backs' dugout, a rookie manager watching his team play its first Cactus League game.

"I'm like any fan right now,'' Lovullo said. "I'm like anybody else that is getting a chance to watch our team. I can't wait to watch today's game.''

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No limits for D-backs' Ahmed at camp

No limits for D-backs' Ahmed at camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed, who is recovering from late August surgery on his right hip, has been participating without any physical limitations this spring.

"When I first started this offseason, taking ground balls and running again, it was just like this mental block and hesitation," Ahmed said. "Once I got over that, it was great."

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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.

Boyhood friendship spills over to Majors

D-backs' Bradley, Brewers' Houser reconnect in Phoenix

Boyhood friendship spills over to Majors

PHOENIX -- Brewers pitching prospect Adrian Houser was two days removed from Tommy John surgery last summer and facing a grueling rehab at Milwaukee's year-round facility in Phoenix, when he realized he needed a place to live. He texted an old friend asking for help. The way Houser remembers it, Archie Bradley answered almost instantly.

"Bro, I'll always have a room for you," Bradley replied.

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Adam McCalvy and Steve Gilbert have covered the Brewers and D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow McCalvy on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. Follow Gilbert on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

More agile Drury looking to secure job at second base

More agile Drury looking to secure job at second base

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- At the end of last season, the D-backs wanted Brandon Drury to improve his agility and lateral movements during the offseason.

Through the first week of full-squad activities, it's clear Drury took those words to heart.

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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 want players to slide feet first into bases

D-backs want players to slide feet first into bases

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs' coaching staff wants its players to use their feet, not their heads, when it comes to sliding into bases this year.

"We are strongly encouraging everybody to slide feet first," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "We have shown them the data that says you're more prone to injury when you slide head first."

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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 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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