With a Major League-worst .314 winning percentage (11-24), the Arizona Diamondbacks are nearing the end of a Spring Training campaign to forget. It's not that winning in spring matters in the summer, but it's extremely difficult to look at this team with the same amount of hope that was present just a few weeks ago.
"It's what it is. It's disappointing," Kirk Gibson said, "I'm not really sure why it was that bad, but we didn't play well."
If the bloom is off the rose before Opening Day, that's usually not a good sign.
But hey, it's just Spring Training after all and as Kirk Gibson has repeatedly said, they've been asking guys to do a lot of things they aren't used to doing. A learning curve is to be expected to a certain degree. He's happy with some of the small things the team has improved on.
Armando Galarraga won the fifth spot in the rotation, pushing Aaron Heilman to the pen. Gibson said it was a close decision but Heilman's last start didn't help and he's comfortable that Heilman will be able to perform in that role based on his history.
Heilman was disappointed in the decision but felt he got a fair shot at the job. He does feel he's a bit pigeon-holed based on his past, but he's a pro.
Full audio of Heilman talking about the move: Heilman 032811
That makes the starting five for the D-backs: Kennedy, Hudson, Saunders, Enright and Galarraga.
In the pen, there's still no decision on keeping Joe Paterson as the lefty or going with righties Kam Mickolio or Esmerling Vasquez. J.J. Putz will pitch Tuesday and should be fine for Opening Day. He threw a bullpen session and his back had no further issues.
In the field, Geoff Blum will start the season on the DL. Ryan Roberts, Brandon Allen, and Tony Abreu are battling for two final spots.
Here's Gibby addressing the media before the final Spring Training home game at Salt River Fields.
The team has final Spring Training games Tuesday and Wednesday and will fly to Colorado on Wednesday evening so they can work out on Thursday in Denver before Open Day against the Rockies on Friday.