02/19/11 6:48 PM EST
Pena puts on power display at D-backs camp
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
And true, it was only batting practice.
But D-backs non-roster outfielder Wily Mo Pena still put on quite a show during batting practice Saturday at Salt River Fields.
"First round, 10 swings, nine homers," second baseman Kelly Johnson said. "If there were 30 swings, I'm guessing 25 over the fence. It was ridiculous."
Pena's batting-practice power has always drawn attention during his time with the Reds, Red Sox and Nationals. The D-backs signed the 29-year-old to a Minor League deal this offseason with the idea that he would provide some outfield depth at Triple-A Reno.
At 6-foot-3 and around 280 pounds, Pena drew looks from teammates before even stepping on the field.
"It's the first time I've been in a [hitting] group with him," Johnson said. "Everybody has heard about him. Since my first year in pro ball that's one guy everyone talks about, his home runs in BP."
Gibson delivers positive message to D-backs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson delivered a clear message in a morning meeting prior to the D-backs' first full-squad workout Saturday.
"I think if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be, compete," second baseman Kelly Johnson said of Gibson's talk. "He wants us to come in and compete everywhere you go. I think it's a good message."
Veteran Geoff Blum has been through his share of first-day meetings during his 12-year big league career, and he noticed a difference Saturday.
"It was a little more positive than most," Blum said. "I think that Kirk's reputation precedes him around the game, so I think guys are excited to play because they enjoyed watching him play. We know there were certain expectations when he played, and I think he's going to expect the same things being a manager."
Gibson has talked a lot this spring about changing the image the D-backs have of themselves as a team, and he gave a hint of what the new image he is trying to imprint is.
"We have to come together as a team, we have to have a purpose together," Gibson said. "If there are people who aren't on the program then we'll have to make adjustments. I said a lot of encouraging things about who we are and what kind of plays we make. I don't think there is anything negative at all. We didn't talk about the past."
General manager Kevin Towers shared a similar message to Gibson during his address.
"I think we're good, but they have to feel they're good," Towers said. "I can think all I want, but if they don't think they're good, then they won't be."