SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There was a larger than usual crowd, highlighted by D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, around the batting cage as top pitching prospects Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs faced hitters Sunday.
Gibson said that while watching them he was thinking back to the first time he faced pitchers in a live batting-practice session in big league camp years ago.
"We all know they've got golden arms," Gibson said. "I think it was more important that they got that out of the way and they can begin to feel comfortable."
Outfielder Cole Gillespie drew the assignment of having to face both Bauer and Skaggs.
"It's always fun [on the] first day of live BP, let alone get a couple of guys like that," Gillespie said with a twinge of sarcasm before smiling. "It was fun. They definitely have good stuff."
It was the third time the pair had thrown this spring and Bauer said he felt like each of his sessions had been better. Facing hitters for the first time, though, presented a few challenges.
"Being in the bullpen when you don't have hitters in there, you can focus on your mechanics and kind of feel what your body is doing and get a good feel for it because you're not really worried about where the ball is going," he said. "Then you start worrying about where the ball is going to throw strikes to hitters and then the mechanics kind of feel weird and you don't really have a feel for what your body's doing. So it just takes awhile to get those two things linked up into one so you can feel your body and what it's doing and also have a sense where the ball is going."