SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time in his career, D-backs outfielder Gerardo Parra reported to Spring Training with a starting job all but locked up.
In 2011 he was ticketed for Triple-A when camp started, but wound up as the starting left fielder and earned a Rawlings Gold Glove.
Despite that, Parra looked to be the fourth outfielder when spring began in 2012 because the team signed free-agent outfielder Jason Kubel during the offseason.
Once again, though, Parra played well enough to find himself in a starter's role early in the season.
Then last season, Parra opened the spring as the fourth outfielder after the team signed free-agent outfielder Cody Ross.
An injury to Ross during Spring Training put Parra in a starting role, and he never looked back as he once again captured a Gold Glove, this time for his play in right field.
This year, Parra figures to be the starting right fielder on Opening Day.
"I'm happy for that," he said. "I've worked the last three years for that."
Each time he reported to camp without a starting job, Parra said it did not bother him, but Friday he admitted that might not have been completely true.
"It was hard," he said. "I was just waiting for my time. Now it's my time."
Parra said he spent more time working with weights this offseason and put on about 10 pounds of muscle, while also altering his mechanics at the plate to be able to hit inside pitches better.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.