03/20/12 9:39 PM ET
Hernandez finds success with small move
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
What would happen, the D-backs reliever wondered, if instead of throwing from the first-base side of the pitching rubber, he instead moved toward the third-base side?
"I just tried it out in the bullpen the other day and it just felt really good," Hernandez said. "It felt like I was able to get out front to give my ball more of a downhill plane and it tightened my slider up."
When he was over on the first-base side, he felt like his front side would fly open a little bit, and when he's on the other side, he stays closed longer and has better command.
There is also one other possible benefit.
"On the first-base side, it's probably easier for right-handed hitters to pick [the ball] up compared to being on the third-base side," he said. "We'll see if it makes a difference."
Kennedy gets work in Minor League game
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not wanting to give the division-rival Giants a second spring look at the pitcher they will face on Opening Day, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson elected to have Ian Kennedy throw in a Minor League game Tuesday.
Kennedy faced the Giants' Triple-A Fresno team on a back field at Salt River Fields.
By pitching in a Minor League game, Kennedy was assured of throwing five innings -- innings can be stopped at any time if need be -- and getting two at-bats.
Kennedy allowed one run on three hits while walking two and fanning five in five innings.
"I was mixing my changeup a lot more than I have been in the past and my curveball was much better today," Kennedy said. "I was really happy with how it went. And I got a base hit and I think I was more happy about that."
Well, mostly happy about it.
"I was like, 'Dang it, I wasted it in Spring Training,'" Kennedy said of his hit. "That's my one hit for April."
D-backs sold out for next four home games
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Seats for the D-backs' next four games at Salt River Fields are officially sold out, the club announced Tuesday.
Limited lawn seating is available for those games as well as seats for March 29 vs. Cleveland and April 2 vs. the Cubs.
"There is so much excitement right now for the D-backs and you can see that every day here at Salt River Fields," said D-backs president/CEO Derrick Hall. "The fans have turned out again in record numbers and we're seeing a real impact on tickets at Chase Field as well."
The D-backs have drawn 166,092 through their first eight spring home games, selling out six of them, and they lead the Cactus League in average attendance.
Last year, the club's first at Salt River Fields, the D-backs set a franchise attendance mark of 189,767 with their average of 11,161 leading all of baseball.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.