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Change will be in the air at D-backs' camp

Change will be in the air at D-backs' camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As D-backs pitchers and catchers begin reporting to Salt River Fields for Spring Training on Monday, change will be in the air.

After a disappointing 81-81 finish in 2012, the D-backs are optimistic that the substantial changes made to the core of their roster will help them battle for the National League West once again.

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Technically, in order to consider themselves reported, pitchers and catchers simply must contact the club to say they are in Arizona; the first workout is set for Tuesday morning at around 9:30 MST.

Position players must report on Feb. 14, with the first full-squad workout taking place the following day.

Expect to see position players earlier than that, however, as most have been working out at the facility for the past month.

"The players that I've spoken to are really excited," president and CEO Derrick Hall said. "They're excited about camp opening, and they're also excited about the team we've put together. That's the feedback we've gotten from them. This is one of those seasons where I feel they're more eager to get out there than any. That's certainly a good feeling leading into it."

The rotation will have one new face, right-hander Brandon McCarthy, while such young pitchers as Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin and Randall Delgado will battle to join returnees Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley and Trevor Cahill.

The bullpen also has a bunch of new faces.

Heath Bell was brought over from Miami, and general manager Kevin Towers believes that a change of scenery will help Bell rediscover the form that made him a dominant closer in San Diego when Towers ran that club.

Then there are new lefties Tony Sipp and Matt Reynolds, who will give manager Kirk Gibson the ability to match up against left-handed hitters late in games.

This is the first Spring Training since 2005 where fans will not see Justin Upton, Chris Young and Stephen Drew. All three were once part of the young core of position players the club was built around, and all three have moved on.

There will be plenty of new faces to take their place, including third baseman Martin Prado, infielders Eric Chavez and Eric Hinske, outfielder Cody Ross and shortstop Cliff Pennington.

This spring will also provide fans with their first look at Didi Gregorius. The talented shortstop, who came over from the Reds in the three-team deal that sent Trevor Bauer to the Indians, is viewed as the organization's shortstop of the future, although he will have to battle for an Opening Day roster spot.

"We weren't a bad a team," Gibson said of his 2012 club. "We weren't as good as we needed to be or as good as our expectations. We want to be World [Series] champions."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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