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Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training: Takashi Saito Takes A Different Path

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The Arizona Diamondbacks made a calculated risk when they took 42 year old Takashi Saito and signed him up to a one year deal. However, things will be a little different with him compared to everyone else on the team. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Saito will be on a different rotation compared to everyone else.

"I talked to Ron Roenicke, his manager from last year, about that and he said (Saito) just got behind," Gibson said. "We don’t want him to go too far and pull a hamstring like he did last year. His program will be a little different. When we’re doing all of our (pickoff drills) and PFPs (pitchers’ fielding practice), all those manual labor things, he’ll do probably less reps of those, but he’ll also stay there with his group."

Interestingly, General Manager Kevin Towers said the club didn’t require Saito to undergo a physical before signing him to a one-year, $1.75 million deal in December.

"We knew he probably would have failed his physical based on everything that we’ve heard over the last four or five years," Towers said. "Mark Weidemaier, our advanced scout, was with him in LA and I think that they said four or five years ago that one pitch and his arm could go. But he’s been pretty darn successful the last four or five years.

Saito is an older guy, so it makes sense to not put him in the same rotation and subject him to the same demands as other players to ensure he stays in the lineup. Saito has proven that he can still produce at the age of 42, finishing with a 2.03 ERA last year in 30 games pitched. Saito struggled with injury though which limited his pitching appearances, so the Diamondbacks probably want to be as cautious as possible before putting him out there.

To talk about the Diamondbacks and take a further look at spring training news regarding Arizona baseball, head on over to AZ Snake Pit.