D-backs camp notes: Top prospects take stage in spring training opener

Mar 17, 2022, 4:55 PM

SCOTTSDALE — The Arizona Diamondbacks took the field for their first spring training game of the season in a 5-3 loss against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields on Thursday.

No big leaguers were in the Arizona batting order, while Caleb Smith, J.B. Bukauskas and Joe Mantiply took the hill out of the bullpen.

Manager Torey Lovullo wants to give the major league players some time before jumping into game action, as Monday was the first mandatory day of camp.

Minor league camp has been open for nearly a month.

It may not be long until D-backs fans see some familiar faces, though, with Lovullo looking as early as this weekend to get some major leaguers on the diamond.

“I haven’t yet finalized what will happen on Saturday, but I feel strongly that we’re going to see a couple major league players get into the lineup over the weekend,” Lovullo said. “I talked about possibly after the weekend, but they came in good shape, so we’ll probably see some guys here at some point Saturday or Sunday.”

Game notes

Two of Arizona’s top three prospects on MLB Pipeline started Thursday’s game: Alek Thomas (#3) in center field and Corbin Carroll (#2) at designated hitter.

Thomas had a forgettable afternoon going 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Carroll hit a shot to left-center for a single during his second at-bat. He then took second base on a ball in the dirt.

Carroll finished the day 1-for-3, as he also hit a sharp line drive to the left side which got snagged by the shortstop.

Tommy Henry, Arizona’s 16th-ranked prospect, started the game and tossed three innings.

He allowed a solo home run to Rockies DH Bret Boswell but did not surrender another base runner. He said after his outing that he wanted to get ahead of batters and force weak contact, which he mostly did.

“Really just trying to work with (catcher Juan) Graterol back there, pound the zone and get ahead of guys,” Henry told reporters. “Force contact, force action and see what happens and good things happened today.”

Smith and Bukauskas each allowed one run in their respective inning of work, while Mantiply surrendered two runs in one frame.

Dominic Canzone came in as a replacement and drilled a two-run home run in the seventh inning to get Arizona on the board. He kept his hot streak from the Arizona Fall League going, where he earned a .905 OPS in 18 games for the Salt River Rafters.

The D-backs will take on the Rockies again on Friday at 1:10 p.m.

Practice notes

Several major leaguers took live batting practice against pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Gilbert on the back fields ahead of Thursday’s game. First baseman Christian Walker and third baseman Matt Davidson made especially hard contact.

Lovullo said Davidson is in the mix for the third base job. He, Drew Ellis and Josh Rojas were defending at third base during fielding drills.

Ketel Marte also got some work in the batting cage. He has been day-to-day with an eye infection, and Lovullo said the plan was to keep him indoors on Thursday.

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