Diamondbacks notebook: Hot spring continues

BY foxsports • March 18, 2016

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Diamondbacks entered Friday's spring-training game against the Dodgers with 12 wins, tied for the most in baseball, while leading all teams with 118 runs scored and a .320 team batting average.

Seemingly every player fighting for a roster spot or starting position is hitting lights out. There's Jean Segura at .593, Nick Ahmed at .464, Rickie Weeks at .435, Socrates Brito and Brandon Drury at .400 and so on.

Friday brought more of the same -- 11 runs, 12 hits, win No. 13.

Chip Hale would like to take those numbers to the bank -- or at least carry them over to the regular season -- but he knows it's pure foolishness.

"Probably overrated," Hale said, when asked what he thought about spring-training statistics. "I would say the offensive side, especially here in Arizona, are inflated, and the pitching numbers, your ERA is going to be way up compared to the season."

But while Hale knows to take the numbers with a grain of salt, there's still been a lot to like with the D-backs performance in the first half of the Cactus League schedule. Specificially, their approach to each game.

"We've played the game the right way," Hale said. "We know it's a long way to opening day. The wins are great, you always want to win, you want to get hits, but you have to realize that there's balls here in Arizona that are going to bound through the infield or drop in the outfield that aren't going to in a major league ballpark."

BULLPEN BATTLES: Hale said the competition for a roster spot in the bullpen is similarly intense as that among the position players.

Evan Marshall has yet to give up a run in six innings; Enrique Burgos and Jake Barrett have given up one apiece, as has left-hander Wesley Wright. Silvino Bracho saw action in only his second Cactus League game Friday, pitching a scoreless ninth.

Lefty Matt Reynolds, who has a 5.40 ERA in 3 1/3 innings was being evaluated Friday after being pulled from his appearance on Thursday

"There's going to be two or three guys who are going to be sent out to start the year who have probably pitched well enough to make the team in spring training," Hale said.

Hale said spring performance will only be part of the calculus.

"A lot of the guys have history of pitching well in the major leagues, some guys have histories of pitching really well in the minor leagues," he said. "We don't want to base everything on how they're performing right now. It's a competition, but you also have to handicap it a little bit with experience and about the past."

COMFORT ZONE: Segura had a throwing error on Dexter Fowler's triple while playing second base in Thursday's game, his first error of the spring.

Hale said splitting time between shortstop, where Segura has spent all of his major league career, and second base requires an adjustment phase.

"I think he's more comfortable at short right now," Hale said. "If we feel like the bulk of his time will be at second base, when we get closer to the end of spring training, we're going to have to really get him more time there. He played it as a young minor leaguer , but it's been a long time for him.

"If you can play short, you can play second, not a problem, but you're on the other side of the field, everything is sort of backwards to you, so it's not fair to him not to give him more experience."

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