Rare snow muddies D-backs’ workout plans

Spring training in Arizona often features a rainy day or two, but rarely has a Cactus League team had to adjust for snow.

That’s what the Diamondbacks faced Thursday, as a Wednesday’s snowfall forced them to move the day’s workouts to the Athletics’ minor league training facility in Phoenix.

“It’s pretty weird,” starting pitcher Wade Miley said. “My wife had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and on the way back it started snowing on us and I was like, ‘What is going on in Scottsdale right now?'”

Parts of the Valley — including Salt River Fields — experienced snow or graupel, a soft hail. The D-backs didn’t practice Wednesday due to rain, and by late afternoon it had turned to snow, covering all the fields. Players started to think Thursday’s workouts might be in jeopardy, too.

Manager Kirk Gibson went to a movie with a niece and nephew Wednesday afternoon and told major league advance scout Mark Weidemaier to text him if there were any updates about the next day’s schedule.

“He sends me a picture of the snow on the ground,” Gibson said. “I thought somehow he was screwing with me, but obviously he wasn’t. So it’s been interesting.”

Miley said he was still asleep when closer J.J. Putz texted him with the news, meaning the second-year starter got to keep sleeping.

“It was perfect,” Miley said.

The D-backs initially planned to push their workout back to 1 p.m., but when it became apparent that the snow would not melt in time, general manager Kevin Towers got on the phone with A’s general manager Billy Beane, who agreed to let the D-backs use their facility on the condition they let the A’s use the designated hitter in a Feb. 26 game between the teams at Salt River Fields.

“I’d already given (A’s manager Bob Melvin) that, so we said sure,” Gibson said, smiling.

After a short workout due to a team activity Tuesday and the rainout/snowout Wednesday, the D-backs weren’t willing to have another abbreviated day Thursday. The team’s first Cactus League game is Saturday.

“We’ve got our legs under us from having some rest the last couple days, and now it’s time to get back after it,” reliever Brad Ziegler said. “We’ve got a game in two days, so we need to be ready.”