SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers reported for spring training Monday and began works out Tuesday, but a number of position players have already arrived, among them new third baseman Martin Prado.
Prado confirmed he will compete for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, but what position he will play for his home country remains a sticking point for the D-backs.
“We’re hoping that he gets time in the infield,” D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. “If they’re looking at him strictly as a left fielder and he’s not going to get any reps in the infield, it makes it a little bit tough for us when we’re looking at him at third.”
Prado, who the D-backs acquired from the Braves with starting pitcher Randall Delgado in exchange for Justin Upton and Chris Johnson, primarily played left field with Atlanta last season. He played 119 games in left field and 52 as an infielder, including 25 at third base.
Neither the D-backs nor Prado have yet spoken to Team Venezuela manager Luis Sojo about Prado’s role, but Towers said the team plans to, as they want Prado to readjust to being a full-time third baseman.
Team Venezuela’s roster currently lists just three outfielders — Prado, D-backs teammate Gerardo Parra and the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez — and includes two third basemen already in Pablo Sandoval and Miguel Cabrera.
“I’ve been working out at third base a lot this offseason, and I’ve been taking fly balls also,” Prado said. “I’m getting ready for everything.”
It may be hard for Team Venezuela to find Prado time at third base, though other infield positions may be feasible.
“If they’re looking to play him a little bit in the outfield, some at third, some at second base then we’re fine with that as well,” Towers said.
Prado had the chance to play for Venezuela in 2006 and 2009 as well but passed on both opportunities as he tried to stick in the majors with the Braves. He said now that he’s in a more stable situation — the D-backs last month signed him through 2016 — he feels ready to compete in the WBC.
“I’m looking forward to representing my country,” Prado said. “It’s a big thing to be proud of.”
CAHILL ALTERS ROUTINES
Starting pitcher Trevor Cahill has altered a couple of his routines, primarily his diet, in hopes that better health will lead to better results on the mound.
Cahill, 24, said during the offseason he had a food sensitivity test to see how his body tolerates specific types of food. After the test, he altered his diet, notably cutting out certain dairy and gluten products.
“I know a lot of guys have done it to mixed results,” Cahill said. “Some guys get it and don’t really follow it. I kind of followed it and I’ve felt like I have more energy.
“It’s been tough, but I feel a lot better. I’ll just stick with it until it doesn’t work anymore, I guess.”
Cahill said he’s also sleeping better since changing his diet. He has also added more long distance running to his workout routines, as opposed to almost exclusively sprinting.
Manger Kirk Gibson mentioned the changes Monday and referenced an incident last season where a team bunted against Cahill four or five times in one game. Cahill said the incident didn’t have anything to do with his decision.
“Last year I felt like I was in good shape coming into the spring and then the season starts and you’re eating out all the time,” Cahill said. “I decided this year I was going to try to change that and just eat healthier. I just wanted to see if feeling healthier would help me pitch better.”
In his first season with the D-backs last year after coming over in a trade from the Athletics, Cahill went 13-12 with a 3.78 ERA in 200 innings over 32 starts.