D-backs P Caleb Smith not concerned with poor last outing of spring

Mar 29, 2021, 3:59 PM
Caleb Smith #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts while exiting the game in the fourth inning afte...
Caleb Smith #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts while exiting the game in the fourth inning after giving up a total of seven runs against the Chicago Cubs during the MLB spring training game at Sloan Park on March 29, 2021 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

MESA — A day after Caleb Smith was named to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ starting rotation, the pitcher made his final start of spring training against the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

It was one to forget for the starter.

In 3.2 innings of work, Smith gave up seven earned runs on eight hits, two of which were home runs, in the team’s 7-1 loss. He walked one batter and struck out five.

Despite his final stat line of the spring, Smith isn’t putting too much stock into his performance.

“I feel like I’m in a good spot. I’ve never thrown good in spring but I feel like I’m in a good spot right now,” Smith said Monday following his outing.

“I don’t know. It’s just during spring you’re still working on things even in your last outing,” Smith said of his spring woes. “Still working on things and throwing sequences you normally wouldn’t throw. Whenever regular season hits, you don’t have that luxury of working on that stuff. You have to win ballgames.”

Entering play Monday, Smith posted a 1-2 record and a 6.75 ERA in five starts (17.1 IP). Of the D-backs’ named starters, Smith posted the highest ERA this spring.

“I think what he’ll take away from it is he had some situations where he had some put-away counts and he didn’t quite execute the way I know he expects or the way he can finish of hitters the way he’s supposed to,” Torey Lovullo said after the game.

“By and large I thought that he was attacking the zone. … I think he’s slowly [dialed in his pitches]. The next step is to go ahead and finish off some hitters. You don’t want to get banged around ever, I know it wasn’t a great outing for him. The next one will be hot. I know he will be in a better spot for it.”

With the loss, the D-backs finish the Cactus League at 8-15-5.


– The D-backs lone run came courtesy of a Christian Walker solo homer in the fourth inning. He finishes the spring with five dingers.

Entering play Monday, Walker was tied for seventh in all of spring training with 14 RBIs.

– Lovullo on outfielder Tim Locastro, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch:

“Tim was doing fine. His natural reaction when he gets hit is get up and spring to first base. I think he was stunned a little bit. He explained that to us and it kinda scared us. But we understand he took a fastball to the ear hole. He’s feeling fine.”

– Lovullo on being days away from Opening Day:

“I’m ready to turn the boys loose. That’s the way I’m looking at it. I think you get to a point in the spring where the energy level probably wasn’t as great as it was. Probably Week 4 of spring, the guys start to change their focus mentally. And even though it’s not something I want them to do I think they’re looking ahead.

“They’re very much looking forward to getting this thing started. We get to play in front of home fans. We get to play baseball games in front of fans again. I know everybody’s really excited to get that started.”

– Lovullo on injured outfielder Kole Calhoun:

“He’s in a good spot. He’s getting ready to take some live [at-bats] — more live ABs. He’s passing every test. I know that he’s feeling good and this is a progression. He’s going to have days where he’s getting after it and working through how that feels the next day.

“We’re on top of that. The medical team is on top of that. I’m hopeful we’ll re-address it by series. We’ll talk about Kole after the first series, we’ll talk about Kole after the second series. When we come back home we’ll see where we’re at. He’s in a good spot, a very good spot.”

Calhoun has been on the shelf for most all of March after undergoing a partial medial meniscectomy on his right knee this spring.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks during a press conference at MLB He...
Associated Press

Minor leaguers agree to labor deal with MLB, will see raised salaries

As part of the five-year deal, MLB agreed during the contract not to reduce minor league affiliates from the current 120.
1 day ago
Third base coach Matt Williams #9 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits ground balls during warm ups pri...
Associated Press

D-backs WS champion Matt Williams diagnosed with colon cancer, to have surgery

Former Arizona Diamondbacks infielder and World Series champion Matt Williams has colon cancer and will have surgery on Friday.
1 day ago
Mike Hazen, Torey Lovullo, and Ken Kendrick of the Arizona Diamondbacks look on as Corbin Carroll a...
Arizona Sports

Roundtable: What are our expectations for the 2023 Diamondbacks?

What our Arizona Sports hosts and editors think this D-backs team can achieve this season.
1 day ago
D-backs P Ryne Nelson (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

D-backs eager to get season into full swing after strong spring

With Tuesday's final exhibition of the spring now in the rearview, it's time to look ahead to the regular for the D-backs.
2 days ago
This is a 2023 photo of Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Carlos Vargas. This image reflects the ...
Arizona Sports

Carlos Vargas earns final D-backs bullpen spot, Mantiply to IL

Arizona Diamondbacks righty Carlos Vargas has made the Opening Day roster, skipper Torey Lovullo announced Tuesday.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll. (Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)...
Jake Anderson

Diamondbacks’ young prospects have Torey Lovullo looking at ‘very bright future’

It's hard to get excited about results in the penultimate game of spring training when Opening Day is on the horizon.
3 days ago
D-backs P Caleb Smith not concerned with poor last outing of spring