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D-backs’ starters see first playing time of spring training

(Arizona Sports Photo/Derek Montilla)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The big names for the Arizona Diamondbacks were in the lineup on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians to get their first playing time of spring training.

David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt all saw action, with Zack Godley getting the start on the mound.

The D-backs have 30 players this season returning from their 40-man roster at the start of spring training last season, so the majority of this team is familiar with the way Torey Lovullo and his staff runs camp.

For most of the players, the first start is about returning to live game action and getting their timing back at the plate and in the field.

Third baseman Jake Lamb, who took a scary line drive off his ankle in the third inning and stayed in the game, discussed the enthusiasm of getting their first playing time of the spring.

“We’re competitors, so it’s fun just getting out on the field again,” Lamb said. “My main goal is just to get on time for as many pitches as possible.”

The first start for Lamb is about seeing live pitching and working on timing.

One of the adjustment for batters is the change of pitching from workouts.

Players have been seeing underhand pitching for the last three months, transitioning to batting practice over the last month and then finally seeing live game action when spring training starts.

“Offensively, you know your timing is not going to be perfect,” Lamb said. “I was happy with my first at bat, I was on time for every pitch.

“He just made a great pitch for strike three.”

For starting pitcher Zack Godley, the first playing time of the spring is more about figuring out where his pitches and arm are at instead of making any adjustments this early in the season.

“I’m just trying to establish strikes, being able to find both sides of the plate, and just continue to work in the zone and just find all of my pitches,” Godley said.

Godley, who was not a rotation starter at this point last season, is a bit more comfortable with working on his skills instead of trying to impress while in camp.

“Nothing is for certain by any means,” he said. “But having a little bit more of a better year last year and being a little more established, it does allow me to come in and work on some other things I feel like need to be worked on instead of having to come in and go all out from day one and throw everything out of the gate.”

Godley went 1.2 innings, giving up two hits, one walk, and no runs.

Torey Lovullo touched on what he’s looking for this early in the season.

“I just look for at the plate a balanced approach,” he said. “No rust, no rush, no hustle to their swing.”

Lovullo acknowledged how the offseason affects their approach at the plate.

“The timing might be a little off, and I know its going to take more consistent at bats to cover the timing aspect of it,” Lovullo said. “So I’m not so concerned about that.”

Despite being only two games into spring training, Lovullo said he is already seeing improvements in the players’ mechanics on defense.

“Defensively, just getting down and getting grounded, angles,” he added. “Getting ready to watch body angles and bat angles at home plate when you’re on defense.

“All the common things that you just want to get out of the way and get your baseball coordinates redirected, and I thought we did a good job with that.”

BASE HITS

– Peralta kicked things off with a lead off double and later scored by way of Goldschmidt for the D-backs first run. Peralta went 2-2 on the day.

– Still no word from Lovullo on when we should expect to see Jarred Dyson and Steven Souza make their first starts of spring. A tentative decision has been made but hasn’t been relayed to the players.

– 9,628 were in attendance at Salt River Fields for the second game of #DbacksSpring

– Staff ace Zack Greinke will get the start for the D-backs on Sunday against Milwaukee.

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