04/11/12 7:41 PM ET
Ziegler to nix spring adjustments
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
The D-backs right-hander wanted to get a better angle for throwing inside to left-handed batters given his submarine pitching style. The change worked from that standpoint, but it made it harder for him to pitch in on righties and away on lefties.
It was also a big reason why he said he compiled a 6.55 ERA this spring.
"It was a lot tougher adjustment than I thought it was going to be and once I committed to it in spring I wanted to keep working on it," Ziegler said. "I figured there would be times where there would be some rough results with it, but I didn't expect it to be as consistently rough as it was. It was like every outing I was giving up a run."
When he struggled Tuesday in his first regular-season action, he decided enough was enough.
"It just got to the point after [Tuesday] night that, you know what? Let's just go back what was working before," Ziegler said. "We can make some minor adjustments from there, but there's no reason to make drastic changes when I had a [2.16] ERA or whatever it was last year."
Ziegler threw a bullpen session Wednesday and got positive reviews from pitching coach Charles Nagy and manager Kirk Gibson.
Gibson said he will focus on trying to get Ziegler some more consistent work and that along with the mechanical change should get him back on target.
"I hope I get back in there [Wednesday] or [Thursday] just to get that confidence back and more importantly get my teammates confidence back behind me," Ziegler said. "Because I want them knowing I'm going to go out there, pound the zone and get tons of ground balls any time I'm out there."
Gibson shows confidence in Collmenter
SAN DIEGO -- After watching Josh Collmenter throw a bullpen session Wednesday, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson expressed confidence that the right-hander would be much improved when he starts Saturday against the Rockies.
In fact, Gibson said he didn't think Collmenter threw that poorly in allowing six runs [five earned] in three innings against the Giants. It would have been vastly different, Gibson said, if left fielder Gerardo Parra had picked up the ball cleanly and made a good throw on Brandon Crawford's second-inning double
"In reality I know you guys dissect his start, the play we made was very impactful on his performance -- when Parra dropped the ball," Gibson said. "Now you're down three runs, I think it just changes the whole direction of the game. We also left a run out there in the first inning."
Pitching coach Charles Nagy thought Collmenter might have been a little too pumped up for his first start of the year.
"He had a lot of energy," Nagy said. "He warmed up real well in the bullpen. Everything was going kind of fast. He was jumping a little bit, I think just excitement. I was hoping after the first inning he might settle down a little bit. But it just kind of picked up steam. One of those things. He left some pitches up and they took advantage of them."
Gibson has remained steadfast in his support of Collmenter through March and now April.
"I have confidence in Josh Collmenter," Gibson said. "That's why he's where he's at."
Drew to appear in extended spring game
SAN DIEGO -- Injured shortstop Stephen Drew is scheduled to see his first game action since last July on Thursday when he plays in an extended spring game.
Drew, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury on July 20, made steady progress throughout Spring Training and if he feels good Thursday he will get four at-bats in the extended spring game and possibly play an inning on defense.
The extended spring games are a very controlled environment where innings can be ended at any time and the same hitter can lead off every inning if he needs to get in extra work.
Drew will jog lightly out of the batter's box and will not be doing a lot of running on the bases.
"We have a pretty good idea how to get him to a good spot," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's been preparing to play in a game."
Another injured D-backs player that is scheduled to see game action this week is reliever Takashi Saito.
Saito was placed on the disabled list last week with a strained right calf. He is slated to pitch in an extended spring game Friday.
Saito is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but may need more time. The added time would just be to help Saito get comfortable covering first base and fielding his position not to build up arm strength.
"He really didn't lose a lot with his arm through the whole process," Gibson said. "He continued to throw through the whole ordeal."
Upton returns to lineup after thumb injury
SAN DIEGO -- Justin Upton was back in the D-backs lineup Wednesday, one day after being held out with a left thumb injury.
Upton jammed the tip of the thumb while sliding into second base to break up a double play in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon against the Giants. Upton placed his left hand on the ground as he slid and that's when the injury occurred.
While he was out of the starting lineup Tuesday, Upton did see action in right field in the 11th inning and would have been able to hit if need be thanks the Arizona training staff.
"They kind of figured out a device to take some of the pressure off his thumb during the game so he was ready to go," Gibson said.
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.