2/19/2013 2:17 P.M. ET
Gosewisch hopes homecoming provides boost
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Drafted out of Arizona State in the 11th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by the Phillies, new D-backs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch steadily climbed Philadelphia's organizational ladder the first five years of his professional career.
By midway through the 2009 season, he'd made it to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, on the doorstep of the big leagues.
That, however, is where his progression stalled.
Now three years and a stop in the Toronto farm system later, the graduate of Scottsdale Horizon High School is hoping that a homecoming can eventually help him take that final step to the Majors.
"I'm really excited to be here, back in my hometown and with the team I grew up watching," said Gosewisch, who signed with the D-backs last winter. "I feel like I have a really good opportunity here. I heard great things about the organization, and just from being here a couple of weeks, I think everything I heard is true."
For now, the competition to back up Miguel Montero on the Opening Day roster is being held between veterans Rod Barajas and Wil Nieves, but Gosewisch believes he has a chance to make an impact should an injury or anything else happen.
"Obviously, the goal is to be in the big leagues and stick around for a while, but whatever my role is, I'm going to do it as well as I can," Gosewisch said. "It's hard, but at the same time, you have to work the same every day. I do everything I can, and the rest I can't control."
Last season, between the Triple-A affiliates of Toronto and Philadelphia, Gosewisch hit a combined .234, but over his final 24 games, he posted a .365 on-base percentage, which gives him confidence in camp with his new squad.
"I want to continue to get better at everything," he said. "Mostly, though, it's trying to get to know the pitchers. It's a brand-new staff for me, and I want to understand what they want to do in their game plan."
As for being in his hometown, Gosewisch is enjoying spending time with family and friends, finally being able to take advantage of the Cactus League's location rather than being in Florida, where he was his first six springs.
"I definitely can't complain," he said. "Most of my family is still here in town, so it's nice to see them whenever I want."
D-backs take time to bond over paintball
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs went through an abbreviated workout schedule on Tuesday in order to leave Salt River Fields early for a team bonding outing at a local paintball range.
In addition to such players as Heath Bell and Wade Miley -- who were decked out in camouflage and other combat gear -- the club sent about 120 people to the 20-acre field, the specific location of which was known by only a handful of coaches and veteran players who helped set up the getaway.
"I think we've worked hard the last couple of days," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Now we're going to come together, have some fun, challenge each other and compete against each other. It's a good group so far. We want to continue that and get to know each other better."
The idea originated when Gibson met with closer J.J. Putz for lunch a couple of months ago to discuss the possibility of doing something as a team other than golf.
"We talked about changing things up a bit," Gibson said. "Then J.J. said he had it. Aaron Hill got involved then and started going out there to find a spot."
Campana works out with D-backs for first time
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Acquired on Monday from the Cubs, outfielder Tony Campana worked out with the D-backs for the first time on Tuesday, taking batting practice and practicing relays with his new teammates.
Although it's likely that the 26-year-old, who has two Minor League options remaining, will begin 2013 with Triple-A Reno, manager Kirk Gibson used a huge success story from last season to show how anything can happen in Spring Training.
"Just look at Wade Miley," Gibson said. "No one expected him to make the team. You can't project what is going to happen in spring. You have to have open eyes. There will certainly be an opportunity for competition here."
Like fellow outfielder Adam Eaton, Campana provides speed on the basepaths. He stole 30 bases in 33 attempts for the Cubs last year.
"He's very unique, and he gives us more depth," Gibson said. "He's got Major League experience and can fly. He's certainly a weapon, and we can certainly see utilizing him."
• Shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius is about a week away from throwing again, manager Kirk Gibson said on Tuesday. The 23-year-old, who was acquired in December in the three-team trade that involved Trevor Bauer, sustained a slight strain of the ulnar collateral ligament area in his elbow in December.
Even though he isn't throwing the ball around the diamond yet, Gregorius has started swinging the bat again, among other activities.
"We've been working on baserunning, and he's already started to hit, but in a short time he'll be throwing a ball," Gibson said. "We just want to err on the side of caution."
• On Tuesday, one day after being struck by a Zeke Spruill pitch during batting practice, Martin Prado was back on the field, in uniform and going through usual workouts.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.