With less than a month left before the start of the regular season, preparations for the opening set of games in Australia are underway for Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers and his staff.
The two-game series between the D-backs and the Los Angeles Dodgers is scheduled for March 22nd and 23rd, and Towers expects his starting pitchers, who are yet to be named, to be ready for the games on international territory.
“I think we’re in the very early process of lining up our pitching for the beginning of the season,” Towers told the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We’ve got kind of an idea of what we’ll more than likely do in the first two games in Australia and then what the first four games are going to look like against the Giants.
“That can always be tweaked a little bit, but right now it is lining things up to get a rotation in line for not only Australia, but for the start of the season.”
The D-backs will pick two out of a group that will likely consist of Patrick Corbin, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Brandon McCarthy and new addition Bronson Arroyo. Towers says he wants to see them pitch a few times during spring training before the team makes any decisions.
The D-backs and Dodgers will be allowed to bring 30 players on the trip, with only 25 eligible to play in the series.
The games will be played on a renovated cricket field and is set to start nine days before the rest of baseball begins their 2014 season.
“Other than really getting our guys going a little bit earlier, we’re taking those two games very seriously,” Towers said. “Travel is not weighing into it and we’re going to go with our two best guys.
“We’re going look at the Dodgers and who has better numbers against them and what are the best matchups and which two starters that we run out there are going to give us our best chance to win two games and hopefully be 2-0 when we come back home.”