Pitchers & Catchers – Reported

by Ben Catley

So as the 2012 version of Spring Training gets underway for the Arizona Diamondbacks, one could wonder what people can expect to see from the Snakes. And while no one truly knows, the bottom line could be another NL West title run.

While titles aren’t won just by the evidence of hard work, or the threat of it, depending on your outlook on it … it will factor in to whatever happens. So when manager Kirk Gibson gives every indication of having a hard camp, just like last year, you can start thinking that things could end up the same way as they did last season.

And I’d say that ended up pretty good, wouldn’t you?

– Gibson also was quoted as saying “There are Goldys, Shaws and Collmenters in our locker room .. Who are they? That’s one of the things that Spring Training is all about.”

Let me call one name to watch out for – Adam Eaton.

You think it’s a little awkward now in the outfield, where apparently Gerardo Parra has a solid season in left field, wins a Gold Glove, and may lose his starting job, wait until the 2010 Osprey alum opens eyes this spring.

Call it a prediction (one I will explain a lot more next week, when I take my stab in the dark about which former Osprey are the next to crack a MLB roster), or call it a hunch, but I get the feeling that Eaton will be in a D-backs uniform before September call-ups.

– Usually, at this point and time, the minor-league players are making their way to Spring Training, which gets underway about a week later than the Major League camp. However, there are a number of players which have reported early, among them being pitcher Robby Rowland (2010-11). It could be a big year for the youngster, who hasn’t yet turned 21, as the numbers have not met the expectations his third-round draft status produces. That could change, however, as Rowland started to find a feel for pitches that he had struggled with during his first two seasons at the tail end of 2011. If he can find consistency, and keep the ball down in the zone, there may be a chance that Rowland will advance upward through the system.

– There’s also the fact that the D-backs open up, in some people’s eyes, as the favorite to win the NL West again. Which could increase the expectations on what is still a relatively young team. The San Francicso Giants, buoyed by the return of catcher Buster Posey, are considered the best challengers.

– While it’s hard to predict how spring will go, if you’re Bryan Shaw (2008), it’s good to see your name on the “almost lock” list when you enter camp. However, no one in the rotation or the bullpen has earned a spot … yet.

Truth be told, it would take one heck of a bad spring for Shaw to not be in the bullpen, and an amazing spring for someone, say, like Charles Brewer, to make the starting rotation. But, as they say, that’s why the play the games.

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