Arizona Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill celebrated his 25th birthday Friday by pitching in his first spring game against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa. He threw two innings, gave up two hits, two earned runs, walked one and recorded two strikeouts.
“Not too bad. Just try to throw strikes and get the feel for pitching in a game again. I’ve had worse,” said Cahill in the clubhouse. “The last time I threw to hitters was over a week ago and it feels like forever. I threw two or three bullpens and now facing hitters again, it just feels like it was a long time.”
Cahill came into camp nearly 15 pounds lighter and he’s hoping to have more stamina later in games this season, but wasn’t sure if he saw any benefit from his offseason weight loss today against the Cubs.
“It’s just two innings so I don’t know if my [velocity] was up or down, I felt the same,” he said. “Good enough for me, first one out.”
Aside from working on his fitness throughout the offseason and spring, he’s also focusing on improving location in each of his six appearances during the preseason.
“Just command, trying to walk as few guys as possible, but it didn’t start off too good walking the leadoff guy but I feel like I do that every spring, so I feel like I can just go from there.”
All the damage done against Cahill came in the first inning Friday while the strikeouts came in the second.
In 2012 Cahill made 32 starts and threw 200 innings. He recorded 156 strikeouts and 74 walks on the way to a 13-12 record.
Before Friday’s game, manager Kirk Gibson gave Cahill some credit for the work he put in after the season ended, leading up to spring training.
“I mean he’s worked really hard this offseason. He just wants to learn how to command his pitches; sometimes he tries to over-manipulate the ball too,” said Gibson.
Cahill and all the D-backs’ starters will only get six starts, despite a longer spring season. This spring is longer than normal due to the World Baseball Classic. Cahill and Gibson said it’s better to keep the pitchers on their usual routine. Gibson wants his starters to be ready for a season in which they will pitch more than 200 innings.