D-backs notes: Prospects survive first cut

MESA, Ariz. — The D-backs made their first round of cuts from big

league camp Thursday, sending out 12 players, but they kept a wealth

prospects in camp for further evaluation.

D-backs

manager Kirk Gibson had been debating whether to cut a number of young

pitchers or relievers and ultimately went with relievers, cutting a

group of six that included Joe Martinez, Jason Lane and Jonathan

Albaladejo.

Outfielder Cole Gillespie was also

optioned to Triple-A Reno, while A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton —

outfielders yet to debut in the majors — remained in big league camp.

Gibson explained Thursday that the D-backs aren’t quite done looking at

their top prospects, particularly Eaton and Pollock as well as pitchers

Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin and Charles

Brewer.

“We have interest in evaluating (our

prospects) more,” Gibson said. “Beyond what’s going to happen with our

25-man roster, we have great interest in what’s going to happen after

that. Whether we have injuries or whether we decide to make a move, you

just want to have more time with them (to) see how they respond to

certain things.”

The retention of starters Bauer and

Skaggs does give the D-backs more opportunity to evaluate the future but

also offers the challenge of finding innings for those pitchers as

regular starters begin to lengthen their outings. That’s precisely why

so many relievers were sent out.

“When you add it all

up, there’s only so many innings,” Gibson said. “You’ve got to start

stretching (starters) out.”

Bauer has started twice

this spring and Corbin once, but neither figures to get another start,

and either or both could be back in minor league camp in the next round

of cuts.

The D-backs’ camp roster now stands at 45

with 22 days until Opening Day. Here’s the entire list of players sent

out Thursday:

• Optioned to Triple-A Reno: Jonathan

Albaladejo, RHP; Cole Gillespie, OF; Zach Kroenke, LHP; Joe Martinez,

RHP; Konrad Schmidt, C.

• Reassigned to Triple-A

Reno: Mike DeMark, RHP; Jason Lane, LHP; Ryan Wheeler,

INF.

• Reassigned to Double-A Mobile: Marc Krauss,

OF; Evan Marshall, RHP; Kevin Munson RHP.

Reassigned to Single-A Visalia: Chris Owings,

INF.

KENNEDY STRETCHING OUT

Ian

Kennedy made his third of six scheduled spring starts Thursday in Mesa,

and this time it felt a little less like spring training. Kennedy went

four innings and held the Cubs scoreless on five hits

and one walk while striking out three. Kennedy is the first D-backs starter to go four innings

this spring.

“It’s nice to finally get past those

two- or three-inning (starts),” Kennedy said. “You feel like you’re facing

guys two or three times in the order. It’s much better as a starter to

do that.”

Kennedy said he spent some time working on his

curveball, throwing it to some hitters on the first pitch.

“I

felt like the last two starts, if I threw a curveball it was like a

two-strike count, and I put a lot of pressure on that pitch,” Kennedy

said. “I wanted to take the pressure off it and just start throwing it

for strikes.”

Gibson expects Kennedy to go five or six innings

in his next start, depending on his pitch

count.

FRIDAY PROBABLES

Daniel Hudson gets

his third start of the spring Friday against his old team, the Chicago

White Sox. After his last outing, Hudson said he was particularly pleased with his

improved command in three perfect innings.

Also scheduled to

pitch Friday at Salt River Fields are Brett Lorin, Mike Zagurski,

Charles Brewer, Brad Ziegler and Takashi

Saito.

NOTES

The D-backs snapped a five-game

Cactus League losing streak with a rout of the Cubs in Mesa, finding

some much-needed offense in a 12-2 win. Nine players drove in at least one run, including first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who collected his first

home run of the spring, a grand slam in the seventh inning off Cubs

pitcher Jeff Beliveau. Henry Blanco and Alfredo Marte also homered as

the D-backs improved to 4-9-1 in Cactus League play. … Joe Saunders threw his first bullpen session since being hit in his left

shin by a line drive Monday. Gibson said Saunders felt OK and is still set to

make his scheduled start against the Rangers on Saturday in Surprise.