PHOENIX -- Leave it to Clay Zavada to sum up his demotion to Triple-A Reno in a way that everyone could understand.
"When you're consistent, they love you," he said. "When you're not, they're a little apprehensive to take a shot. Can't blame them. If you've got a car that breaks down every once in a while, you don't want to take it on a long trip, and 162 games is a long trip. That's the way I look at it."
By optioning Zavada, the D-backs elected to keep fellow left-hander Jordan Norberto, who entered camp as a long shot to make the team.
"For him to make this team is a great accomplishment," manager A.J. Hinch said of Norberto. "When the door opened, he came and took it and he outpitched Zavada."
Zavada was 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 49 games for the D-backs last year, but he struggled throughout Spring Training, compiling an 8.00 ERA in 10 games and walking nine batters in nine innings.
"Clay's a good pitcher," Hinch said. "He looked out of sync the entire spring from a mixture of things."
Zavada spent the spring working on his curveball to become more effective against left-handed hitters and making some mechanical adjustments, but he made no excuses.
"The bottom line is I wasn't throwing strikes and I wasn't consistent," he said.