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Kennedy 'felt really good' in spring debut


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- D-backs Opening Day starter Ian Kennedy made his spring debut Thursday and allowed an unearned run over two innings.

"My arm felt really good, everything felt like it was working," Kennedy said. "Threw a lot of fastballs trying to get that command. In the second inning, I felt I was pulling off a little bit, but I was really happy with everything else."

While Kennedy threw mainly fastballs, he also wanted to make sure he threw his curveball. Improving his curve was a point of emphasis for him during the offseason and early in camp. He hopes that will give him more consistency with the pitch early in the regular season.

Kennedy threw an impressive curve to Reds slugger Joey Votto in the first inning.

"He looked like he was trying to see pitches, and that's usually what the better hitters do," Kennedy said. "I threw that curveball, and it seems like a lot of hitters -- our hitters, their hitters -- you throw curveballs and it throws them off. I think if you ask some of our hitters, they'll say it shouldn't be legal the first week."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson tweaked the team's schedule this spring in an effort to give his players more energy than the past two seasons. Pitchers did not throw back-to-back bullpen sessions and were given two days off between live batting-practice sessions.

"It's important for Spring Training for your arm to feel good and fresh," Kennedy said. "They did a really good job this year adjusting the schedule, and I think everybody's arm feels a little bit better. I think that's really going to help us in the long run."

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