2/19/2014 8:55 P.M. ET
Coaches seek catchers' input on pitchers
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In a slight change from previous Spring Trainings, D-backs catchers have been meeting after every workout with pitching coach Mike Harkey, pitching consultant Dave Duncan, bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and manager Kirk Gibson.
The catchers share their opinions with the coaches about how they felt the pitchers they caught that day in bullpen or live batting practice sessions threw.
"In essence, you're trying to determine by the time we get to the season, let's say a guy has five pitches, what are his best pitches?" Gibson said. "What are his worst? We don't want to get beat by their worst pitch. That's why we're trying to determine what they have, what they're capable of doing, so we can decide how we want to game plan with their resources."
When asked about Harkey, Gibson said it was about time someone asked a question about the first-year pitching coach and doled out some heavy praise for him and the way he has made use of Duncan's experience.
"I think he's doing an excellent job," Gibson said. "He's done a great job. He understands how to utilize the resources that are there."
Arroyo impressed with D-backs training staff
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who signed a two-year contract with a club option for 2016, has not been with the D-backs for long, but he already likes what he sees as far as the team's attention to detail.
"Everyone thinks, from the outside looking in, that every ballclub -- that the training staff, the medical staff, everyone from the general manager to the manager are on the same page and a lot of times they're not," Arroyo said. "Everybody has their own ideas and sometimes those ideas conflict. Here it seems like they've done a really good job at making sure that everyone is working in the same direction."
The D-backs' training staff, under the direction of head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw, has a reputation for being on the cutting edge when it comes to fitness, and that is something Arroyo noticed right off the bat.
"The medical staff is really on top of their game," Arroyo said. "I mean they've got so many techniques and they're bringing people in and out constantly for different massages and chiropractors and just different things that can help us. A lot of organizations haven't valued that over the years. It's starting to turn where everyone is now becoming that way, but I really see that it's nice and advanced here."
• Gibson was impressed by what he saw out of veteran pitcher Brandon McCarthy during Wednesday's simulated game.
"Breaking ball was excellent today," Gibson said. "I think he's more comfortable this year. He's another guy that I think you want to try to keep it simple. Convince him to keep it simple."
• The D-backs open Cactus League play next Wednesday against the Dodgers, but have not yet decided who will pitch.
• With so many players in camp, the D-backs have used coaches from their Minor League system to work with the big leaguers each day.
With early Minor League camp already in swing in the afternoons, it means the Minor League coaches have been pulling double duty.
"It's a long day for those guys," farm director Mike Bell said. "But you'd never know it, because they never complain."
• The D-backs are scheduled to work out from approximately 9:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. MT on Thursday. Fans wanting to attend can park in the Desert Parking Lot. There is no charge.
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.