02/28/2013 6:47 PM ET
Kennedy 'felt really good' in spring debut
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- D-backs Opening Day starter Ian Kennedy made his spring debut Thursday and allowed an unearned run over two innings.
"My arm felt really good, everything felt like it was working," Kennedy said. "Threw a lot of fastballs trying to get that command. In the second inning, I felt I was pulling off a little bit, but I was really happy with everything else."
While Kennedy threw mainly fastballs, he also wanted to make sure he threw his curveball. Improving his curve was a point of emphasis for him during the offseason and early in camp. He hopes that will give him more consistency with the pitch early in the regular season.
Kennedy threw an impressive curve to Reds slugger Joey Votto in the first inning.
"He looked like he was trying to see pitches, and that's usually what the better hitters do," Kennedy said. "I threw that curveball, and it seems like a lot of hitters -- our hitters, their hitters -- you throw curveballs and it throws them off. I think if you ask some of our hitters, they'll say it shouldn't be legal the first week."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson tweaked the team's schedule this spring in an effort to give his players more energy than the past two seasons. Pitchers did not throw back-to-back bullpen sessions and were given two days off between live batting-practice sessions.
"It's important for Spring Training for your arm to feel good and fresh," Kennedy said. "They did a really good job this year adjusting the schedule, and I think everybody's arm feels a little bit better. I think that's really going to help us in the long run."
Skaggs has trouble finding strike zone vs. Reds
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Tyler Skaggs was succinct in summing up his second outing of the spring.
"I pitched terrible," the D-backs lefty said. "That's it."
Skaggs, the D-backs' No. 1 prospect, is competing with Patrick Corbin and Randall Delgado for the No. 5 spot in the rotation. He came on in relief of Ian Kennedy in third inning and failed to complete the inning, leaving with two outs and three runs already having crossed the plate.
"I felt good, arm felt good, just mechanics were all off," Skaggs said. "Just one of those days where you can't throw strikes and you've got to make an adjustment out there, and I couldn't make it."
Skaggs allowed three hits, walked two, threw a wild pitch and balked.
"Fastball was bouncing, I threw my changeup well, my curveball was bouncing, and you can't get by throwing all changeups. I wouldn't say it's attributed to being early in spring, it's just one of those days you can't throw strikes. It's tough to get outs when you can't throw strikes."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said it was possible that Skaggs was putting too much pressure on himself to win the No. 5 spot and that the staff would talk with him Friday after looking at video.
In his first outing of the spring, Skaggs allowed four runs (two earned) in 1 2/3 innings.
• Charles Brewer put together another solid outing. A long shot to make the team, Brewer threw three innings and allowed one unearned run against the Reds on Thursday.
In his first appearance of the spring against the Rockies, Brewer tossed two shutout innings.
• Gibson said that he talked with Luis Sojo, who will lead the Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic, and came away confident that Martin Prado would get enough work at third base while playing in the Classic.
Prado played mainly outfield last year, but the D-backs traded for him to be their everyday third baseman and were initially concerned that he wouldn't see much time there while playing in the Classic.
• Outfielder Gerardo Parra was back in the lineup Thursday after missing Wednesday's game with a sore arm. Parra had three hits and drove in three runs.