Diamondbacks spring training updates: Eduardo Rodriguez recovers after rough first

Play is under way in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 27th spring training, and 14th based at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The defending National League champions have a busy first full week of Cactus League action, starting Monday with their first game away from SRF against the Oakland Athletics at Mesa's Hohokam Stadium. This week also includes the first spring meeting with their World Series opponent, the Texas Rangers, on Tuesday at SRF, one of only three home games this week. All Diamondbacks home games start at 1:10 p.m., and tickets are available at The Diamondbacks' 2024 regular season opens on Thursday, March 28 at Chase Field against the Rockies starting at 7:10 p.m.

Brewers 10, Diamondbacks 4

At Salt River Fields, Sunday, March 3

On the mound: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, who was hit hard in his spring debut, gave up three runs before recording an out on Sunday, but he proceeded to finish three innings without further damage. “It was a little off in the first inning but after that I felt like I was pitching the way I normally pitch,” Rodriguez said. “It was great. I was using all my pitches the last two innings and getting ground balls.” Rodriguez gave up three runs on five hits and two walks, striking out four. He noted that a handful of his hits came on soft singles. “I’ll take it because that’s the weak contact that I’m looking for,” he said. “The good thing is it’s spring training and I’ll take it. In the regular season, I’ll get mad about that, but right now I’ll take it.” None of the other Diamondbacks pitchers Sunday are projected to open the season in the majors. Of them, RHP Conor Grammes might have been the most impressive, averaging 96.8 mph with his fastball while getting a pair of whiffs on his slider.

At the plate: C Gabriel Moreno hit three balls hard — a double in the first, his first home run of the spring in the third and a lineout to left in the sixth. Each of the first two hits came off Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta, their anticipated Opening Day starter. SS Geraldo Perdomo laced a double to right field off Peralta in the first for his first hit of spring training; 2B Ketel Marte jokingly asked the Brewers to toss the baseball to the Diamondbacks dugout to give to Perdomo as a keepsake.

Extra bases: Moreno made a strong, accurate throw to second to cut down Brice Turang trying to steal second in the fourth inning. In the second, 2B Blaze Alexander made a good play in back of the second-base bag to get a force out at second, then Perdomo started a double play with a nice stop on a backhand. LF Lourdes Gurriel's throw home in the first inning got away, allowing a runner to advance, in part because Rodriguez was not in position to back up the plate.

Next game, Monday, March 4: Diamondbacks RHP Brandon Pfaadt vs. White Sox RHP Michael Soroka, 1:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch.

Angels 4, Diamondbacks 1

At Tempe Diablo Stadium, Saturday, March 2

At the plate: 2B Ketel Marte had a pair of doubles, continuing what has been a scorching start to the spring. He laced a 2-1 fastball from RHP Griffin Canning into the right-center field gap to lead off the game. In the sixth, he hit another fastball, this one from RHP Andrew Wantz, to right field. He finished 2 for 3, making him 8 for 13 (.615) in five spring training games. Last year, he had only six hits in 32 at-bats the entire spring. LF Joc Pederson, the only other position player projected to be a regular who played on Saturday, had a single in three at-bats.

On the mound: Several veteran relievers worked for the Diamondbacks on Saturday, including RHP Paul Sewald and RHP Scott McGough, who turned in scoreless innings in the third and fourth, respectively. LHP Kyle Nelson gave up a solo homer to DH Aaron Hicks in the sixth. LHP Andrew Saalfrank gave up an unearned run in the seventh when SS Jordan Lawlar couldn’t glove a liner off the bat of SS Zach Neto.

Extra bases: After his double in the first inning, Marte was immediately picked off by Canning, who spun and threw quickly to second, beating a diving Marte back to the bag. Manager Torey Lovullo was pleased to see a relay throw lead to an out in the third, when RF Albert Almora Jr.’s throw to second caught Neto, who had rounded the bag too aggressively.

Next game, Sunday, March 3: Diamondbacks LHP Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta, 1:10 p.m., Salt River Fields.

—Nick Piecoro

Diamondbacks 12, Reds 8

At Goodyear Ballpark, Friday, March 1

On the mound: RHP Slade Cecconi, a candidate for the team's fifth starter in its rotation, started his second game of the spring and allowed two runs on four hits in 1⅔ innings in his first stint of the night. Cecconi re-entered with no one on base to open the bottom of the third inning and got two more outs, finishing the night with two innings pitched, five hits allowed, two earned runs, a strikeout and a walk. "They're (coaches) monitoring pitch counts and stretching this out to the best of their abilities right now. And it was a long second (inning)," Cecconi said. "And I was glad I was able to get back out there for the third and get my work in." RHP Dakota Chalmers worked out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the third. Ryan Thompson and Joe Mantiply pitched scoreless innings. The Reds scored six runs off Diamondbacks relievers in the final three innings.

At the plate: Reigning National League Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll picked up his first three hits of spring training, after starting out 0 for 8 with a walk. Carroll doubled in a run in the fourth inning and said he was focused on hitting to the opposite field. "At this point right now, it's honestly more about just making sure I'm waking up the next day feeling good," Carroll said. "Keeping things very simple." DH Kyle Garlick, signed to a minor league contract on Feb. 24, hit a pair of home runs, his first two of the spring in just his second game. Garlick hit a two-run shot in the second inning and followed with a solo home run in the fourth. RF Jake McCarthy tripled into the left field corner and scored two runs. SS Geraldo Perdomo went 0 for 3 and is now 0 for 12 to start his spring. 3B Blaze Alexander continued to hit the ball, going 2 for 3 with a triple to right field. Alexander is 7 for 15 at the plate this spring. Minor leaguer Tim Tawa went 3 for 3 with a long home run to left field in the top of the ninth, plus a triple. The Diamondbacks racked up 18 hits.

Extra bases: The Diamondbacks got good news on 1B Christian Walker's hand injury after he was hit by a pitch in Thursday's game. He is day to day, manager Torey Lovullo said. 3B Eugenio Suarez is dealing with lower back discomfort, Lovullo said, and might miss games through the weekend, as will OF Alek Thomas (wrist soreness). IF-OF Jace Peterson has right wrist inflammation and won't play this weekend. Lovullo said he has no concerns about anyone's availability for Opening Day. Pitchers Zac Gallen, Kevin Ginkel and Corbin Martin threw live batting practice sessions Friday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Gallen threw two innings, Ginkel and Martin one each. It was the latter two's first time facing hitters this spring as they ease back into action following injuries. "I thought his first few pitches he was still trying to find himself on the mound, but was driving some pitches to the inner half the plate on some right-handed hitters which I thought was, it was impressive. I know he's been working on it," Lovullo said of Gallen's outing.

Next game, Saturday, March 2: Diamondbacks LHP Logan Allen vs. Angels RHP Jose Soriano, 1:10 p.m., Tempe Diablo Stadium.

— Jose M. Romero

Cost comparison: Are MLB spring training ticket prices too expensive?

Diamondbacks 8, Guardians 6

At Goodyear Ballpark, Wed., Feb. 28

On the mound: RHP Brandon Pfaadt made his spring debut, giving up a pair of runs in one inning, and LHP Tommy Henry turned in a second sharp performance in his quest to win the fifth starter’s job, firing three hitless innings. Pfaadt said his arm and body felt great, but his command was a little off, something he expects to correct over the course of spring. He enters the spring assured of a rotation spot, which he said allowed him to come into camp looking to build up rather than already ready to go. “I don’t want to get too comfortable,” he said. “We’re going to treat it like any other spring training and keep getting better every day.” As for Henry, who threw two scoreless innings in his first start last week, he again had to go down to the bullpen after his outing to build his pitch count into its target range of 45. He was especially pleased to be able to elicit whiffs on his slider and get ground balls on a sinker he is looking to incorporate into his repertoire.

At the plate: LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. connected for his first home run of the spring, a shot to left-center field in the fourth off a breaking ball from Guardians RHP Scott Barlow. C Tucker Barnhart had two hits, including an RBI double in the second on a ball he hit past RF Deyvison De Los Santos. DH Caleb Roberts delivered a game-tying, two-run triple in the ninth. He broke his bat on the swing and on his way around the bases had to avoid stepping on the barrel, which landed between first and second. RF Kevin Graham drove home Roberts with the go-ahead run on a single to right.

Extra bases: SS Jordan Lawlar made a slick play on a hard-hit ball by De Los Santos in the fifth, making a sliding, backhanded stop before throwing to first, where 1B Pavin Smith gloved it on a short-hop. Gurriel was cut down trying to steal second in the fifth.

Next game, Thursday, Feb. 29: Diamondbacks RHP Ryne Nelson vs. Giants RHP Logan Webb, 1:10 p.m., Salt River Fields.

‘This kid could be elite’: Kristian Robinson flashes potential at Diamondbacks camp

Rangers 10, Diamondbacks 3

At Salt River Fields, Tuesday, Feb. 27

On the mound: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez was hit hard in his first Cactus League outing with his new team, but he came away from the performance feeling good about where he is at this point in spring, stressing that results do not matter this time of year. Rodriguez gave up four runs on four hits and two walks, serving up a leadoff homer to 2B Marcus Semien and a three-run shot to DH Andrew Knizner. He left with nobody out in the second after the first four batters of the inning reached. “I was throwing all my pitches almost exactly where I wanted; my command was a little bit off,” Rodriguez said. “Overall, I was feeling good. My velocity was right where I wanted it, 90-92 (mph), 93 sometimes. Overall, everything was good. Just location.”

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Feb. 27, 2024.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Feb. 27, 2024.

At the plate: 3B Eugenio Suarez hit a ringing double to center field in the fourth, his second hit in as many trips to the plate on the day. 2B Ketel Marte had two hits, including a triple off the center field wall. 2B Blaze Alexander continued his hot start, tripling over the right fielder’s head in the sixth.

Extra bases: CF Jorge Barrosa made a rangy catch in the sixth, racing to deep right-center to track down a 1B Blaine Crim drive on the warning track. 2B Ketel Marte and 1B Christian Walker combined to make a nice play on a ball hit in the hole in the third. Marte ranged into shallow right field, then made a spinning throw to first that Walker had to dive to catch, managing to keep his foot on the bag in the process. LHP Tommy Henry is scheduled to pitch in relief on Wednesday in Goodyear with fellow fifth starter competitor RHP Ryne Nelson in line to start on Thursday vs. the Giants.

Next game, Wednesday, Feb. 28: Diamondbacks RHP Brandon Pfaadt vs. Guardians LHP Joey Cantillo, 1:05 p.m., Goodyear Ballpark.

More baseball: Diamondbacks preparing prospect Blaze Alexander for potential MLB role

Athletics 9, Diamondbacks 8

At Hohokam Stadium, Monday, Feb. 26

On the mound: LHP Blake Walston struggled in 1 2/3 innings of work, allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks while only striking out one. He only threw 17 pitches in the game. “It wasn't very good, to be honest with you,” Walston said. He was particularly bothered by his command. “Just got behind in counts when I don't really need to,” Walston said. “Those 3-0 counts are unacceptable. Can't happen.” LHP Yu-Min Lin, one of the Diamondbacks’ top pitching prospects, came in out of relief and also struggled. Lin allowed five runs on four hits and two walks, while only retiring one batter. RHP Chris Rodriguez allowed a walk-off homer to the A's Drew Lugbauer with one out in the ninth.

At the plate: SS Jordan Lawlar hit a home run to left-center field in the third inning off A’s pitcher Trevor Gott, an eight-year MLB veteran. "It was good to see him in counts, just taking good, aggressive swings," manager Torey Lovullo said. "And he pounded that ball. He hit it a long way." In the sixth, RF Kristian Robinson and CF Brett Johnson hit back-to-back homers. Robinson's homer was his first in a big-league spring training game, a notable step for the Diamondbacks' former top prospect who missed most of the past four seasons due to a legal issue. 3B Emmanuel Rivera had a nice day with two well-struck base hits, including a double. DH Andres Chaparro, a non-roster invitee, also went 2 for 3 with a double.

Extra bases: CF Alek Thomas did not play with the rest of the starting outfielders on Monday, with Lovullo citing right wrist soreness. "Nothing to set off any alarms," Lovullo said. "But we just felt like it would be the right thing to pull him back this early in camp and give him a little time to recover from that." 2B Jace Peterson made a nice sliding, spinning play in the second inning, robbing a hit from Jordan Diaz. 2B Blaze Alexander, who entered in place of Peterson, also made a nice defensive play to end the sixth. He fired an impressive throw to first base to turn a tricky double play on a feed from 3B Kevin Newman. Alexander also made a nice pick in the seventh inning to catch a runner stealing second base, fielding a one-hop throw from C J.J. D'Orazio.

Next game, Tuesday, Feb. 27: Diamondbacks LHP Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Rangers RHP Dane Dunning, 1:10 p.m., Salt River Fields.

—Theo Mackie

‘Criminally underrated’: Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly has high goals after breakout October

Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 0

At Salt River Fields, Sunday, Feb. 25

On the mound: RHP Slade Cecconi and five relievers combined for a two-hitter, with Cecconi firing two scoreless innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Cecconi was pleased with his overall mix of pitches, a focus for him after he was overly reliant on his fastball and slider last season. “I think I got a swing and miss on all four pitches, which is a really good start to spring training,” Cecconi said. “I’m happy with it.” The Diamondbacks took a no-hitter into the ninth before it was broken up by an Oscar Colas pinch-hit single to left. The White Sox ended up with two hits when an eighth-inning scoring decision was reversed. “(The pitching staff) was fantastic,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “It was exciting there all the way up until the ninth inning. Anytime you’re getting ready to win a game there is excitement, but there was an extra twist on it. I don’t care where you are, a no-hitter is a no-hitter.”

At the plate: 2B Ketel Marte reached base three times with two singles and a hit by pitch. 1B Christian Walker lined a double into left in the fourth inning for his first extra-base hit of the spring. 2B Blaze Alexander had another hit, giving him three in five at-bats through three games. “He’s doing it on both sides of the ball,” Lovullo said of Alexander. “He’s making defensive plays. He made a key baserunning move today. And he’s just driving the ball. I think he’s not trying to do too much. He’s just staying through the baseball.” Alexander has an outside shot at winning a bench job.

Extra bases: Alexander made a jumping catch on a line drive in the sixth. RF Kristian Robinson made a good catch on a ball hit over his head in the seventh inning. The Diamondbacks pulled off a double steal that resulted in a run in the fifth, with Alexander taking off for second base to draw a throw and CF Jorge Barrosa breaking from the third and stealing home without a play.

Next game, Monday, Feb. 26: Diamondbacks LHP Blake Walston vs. Athletics RHP Ross Stripling, 1:05 p.m., Hohokam Stadium.

—Nick Piecoro

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Diamondbacks spring training updates: Eduardo Rodriguez recovers after rough first