PHOENIX - As far as first impressions go, Matt Reynolds has introduced himself to the D-backs quite nicely to begin his tenure in the desert.
After a rough Spring Training in which he allowed 11 runs over 11 1/3 innings, the southpaw has tossed five scoreless frames in four appearances to start the 2013 season.
"He's been real good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "The other day after [Miguel Montero] caught him, he said, 'Now I know why I never got a hit off him.' He's sneaky fast, you can't let the radar gun fool you with him. He throws around 90 mph, but it gets on you quick. He's got good finish on his pitches and he can come at you with a lot of different weapons."
Before being acquired in the offseason, Reynolds spent the first six years of his career with the Rockies, so naturally the move initially caught him off-guard.
"When I first found out, I was a little nervous but then I got a call from [Arizona general manager] Kevin Towers and it kind of put me at ease," Reynolds said. "That was really nice and comforting. And since I've actually been here, it's been great. These guys have been really welcoming and friendly. I can't complain, I've had a great time."
The trade, which sent Ryan Wheeler to Colorado for Reynolds, also meant that the left-hander would be moving from one hitters' park, Coors Field, to another, Chase Field. Although he knows the stadiums play a part, Reynolds tries not to think about the outside factors while he's on the mound.
"'Hitters' ballparks' are kind of a mindset," he said. "If you think about it and you let it affect you, then it does. You just have to go out there and throw strikes and try not to think about it. You'll have more success that way."
As far as his hot start goes, Reynolds is obviously pleased with the results, but doesn't want to get too far ahead of himself so early into the schedule.
"It's a long season; I'm going to hit my rough patches just like everyone else," he said. "That being said, it's a whole lot better than going out there and getting shellacked. You take it, but you never know what's in store for the season."
Moving forward, the club's plan is to use Reynolds in a variety of situations out of the bullpen, taking advantage of the reliever's versatility.
"That's one of the reasons why we liked him," Gibson said. "He can go short, he can go long, he go against righties, he can go against lefties and he gets ready quick. There's a lot to like."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less