2/23/2014 6:42 P.M. ET
McCarthy to start D-backs' spring opener
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon McCarthy will start the opener for the D-backs.
Not for the regular season, mind you, but for Arizona's Cactus League opener Wednesday afternoon against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields.
While McCarthy will start Wednesday, Bronson Arroyo and Randall Delgado will start Thursday's split-squad games, with Arroyo pitching against the Cubs at their new Spring Training facility and Delgado starting against the Dodgers in Glendale.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson had yet to decide who would start during the team's two-game series against the Dodgers in Sydney to open the regular season.
"We've had some conversations about it," Gibson said. "It would be premature to read any further into it."
D-backs appear excited for Australia trip
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke may have "zero excitement" about the coming trip to Australia to play the D-backs, but the feeling in the Arizona clubhouse appears to be quite different.
"That's his opinion," D-backs left fielder Mark Trumbo said of Greinke, who told ESPNLosAngeles.com that "I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it. There just isn't any excitement to it. I can't think of one reason to be excited for it."
"I think it's going to be a cool thing," Trumbo continued. "That's just personal. There are going to be some tougher things that come with it, there's going to be a lot of travel and some adjusting, but I think more than anything it's just cool to be able to bring the game over there."
The D-backs and the Dodgers will play two regular season games starting March 22 in Sydney.
For D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player voting last year, this will be his second trip to Australia in five months. Goldschmidt traveled to Sydney to help promote the game last November.
"This has nothing to do with [Greinke's] comments, because I haven't heard them and I'm not going to comment on anything he said," Goldschmidt said. "But I'm looking forward to going over there and play. I've said that since last year when it got announced."
D-backs players are allowed to bring one guest, making the trip popular among wives and girlfriends.
"I can't speak for everyone in here, but it seems like the general consensus is everyone is excited and we are kind of honored that we're going to be part of the first Major League game that's going to be in that country," reliever J.J. Putz said. "I know the travel is going to be tough, but at the same time I know a lot of people have always wanted to go to Australia. To be able to bring my wife to Australia for a week and we get to play baseball? It's win-win. I'm excited about it. I think it's going to be a great trip."
The two teams will have a week after returning from Australia before they resume regular-season games.
"The fact that they're giving us a week to come back to adjust to the time, it's perfect," third baseman Eric Chavez said. "I've done the Japan trip. I love it. I had a great time. So I don't see what the problem is."
• Outfielder Cody Ross seems optimistic about being ready when the regular season starts March 22 in Sydney.
"As close as I am now, I can only assume I should be ready, but we'll just take it day by day," said Ross, who sustained a broken and dislocated right hip last August.
• The D-backs have ramped up the intensity of their workouts over the last five to seven days, and the players have seemed to respond well physically.
"Healthwise, it's been outstanding," Gibson said. "No sore elbows, no sore shoulders, no sore forearms. When we get into the games we hope we can remain that way. We'll try and rotate the guys as best we can and use the people we have."
• The D-backs are scheduled to work out Monday at Salt River Fields from approximately 9:30 a.m. MST to noon.
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.