D-backs’ Zach Davies struggles in 1st spring training start vs. Cubs

Mar 29, 2022, 5:11 PM
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)...
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MESA — It was a tough outing for Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zach Davies against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

Taking the mound for the first time in a D-backs uniform, the Valley native was on the losing end of a 3-2 defeat at Sloan Park in Mesa.

Over three innings of work, the starter allowed three earned runs on two hits (both home runs) and a walk.

“Command was good today, I felt comfortable with all my pitches,” Davies said after the outing. “I’m only going to have a short spring so I’m trying to get a lot of pitches and a lot of different counts trying to work that as opposed to your typical ramp up in spring training.

“I had a pretty good feel for everything I threw today and fine tune some things, had a couple good pitches that were hit out but you tip your hat and you move on. That’s baseball.”

Despite the loss, getting Davies out on the bump is imperative for Arizona’s evaluation of the pitcher as he looks to bounce back and crack a rotation spot after a down 2021 that saw his ERA climb to a career-worst 5.78.

“We’re still trying to build him up … he knows what he’s trying to do with the baseball,” manager Torey Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “Last year was just one of those outlier years where he didn’t get off to a good start and things didn’t work out. That happens to athletes. He’s back here, he’s not really needing to reinvent himself but to land pitches that he needs to.

“He’s a starting point for me. … We got to get him built up, we got to continue to evaluate him and he’s got the inside track. I’m going to say he’s done a good job and we need to continue to build him up and we’ll see where that takes him.”

Davies’ ERAs by season since 2016 have been 3.97, 3.90, 4.77, 3.55 and 2.73, respectively, before that 5.78 mark last year. He was signed in free agency to a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.5 million.

Offensively, the D-backs’ two runs of the afternoon came courtesy of Ketel Marte and Pavin Smith, who contributed a pair of hits and an RBI each in the loss.

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