2/24/2014 8:05 P.M. ET
Cahill giving D-backs reason to be optimistic
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In his live batting-practice sessions and simulated games this spring, D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill has had two of his pitches working each time out.
Just not the same two. And at this point in Spring Training, he's OK with that.
"I feel like, right now early in spring, you're just trying to have at least two pitches," he said. "Obviously fastball command and then, like today, I was getting my curveball over for strikes, and last time my changeup was good. So as long as you have two pitches each time out as the games start, maybe you can kind of put them all together."
That his fastball command has been solid is a good sign for the D-backs, who are counting on a bounceback season from Cahill.
The next step will be putting all three of his pitches together for the Cactus League season as he tries to reverse a trend of poor outings over his first couple of games each spring.
"I think a lot of it for me is the whole adrenaline thing," Cahill said, referring to the fact that pitching in an exhibition game provides more adrenaline than live batting practice. "I feel like for me that's never been a good thing. I pitch better when I'm just out there having fun and relaxed, because I just have to relax and just let my stuff work and not to overthrow or do too much. When I have more intensity, I tend to overthrow and try to strike everybody out I guess."
With the early start to Spring Training this year, D-backs pitchers have gotten more work in prior to games than they have in past years.
"We've been throwing a lot longer, so I should be a lot more ready this year going in," Cahill said.
D-backs sorting out new collision rule's effects
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson and other team personnel were scheduled to be briefed by Major League Baseball officials Monday afternoon about the new rules banning egregious collisions at home plate.
"It's been a part of the game my whole life," Gibson said. "They have good intentions by changing the rule, or modifying the rule. If a catcher wants to block the plate and he's engaging, he's initiated that play. Hopefully it will still be part of what you can do. I worry about the runner being unprotected as well. It goes both ways."
Reliever Brad Ziegler is a member of the Players Association's executive subcommittee, so he was part of the negotiating process between Major League Baseball and the union when it came to the new rule.
"I think the idea is to prevent injuries without changing the integrity of the game," Ziegler said. "I think if a guy is trying hard to score and the catcher gets in the way with the ball there's still going to be some contact, because guys aren't going to chill with their adrenaline. Ideally, you get runners coming around third base and their focus doesn't become the catcher, it becomes the plate. How can I get to the plate? And let the umpire decide if the catcher is in their way without the ball or not."
D-backs catcher Miguel Montero, who has been a part of several collisions at the plate during his career, said he didn't see a need for any changes.
"I don't know what it's going to be all about, but if it's not collision, it's just sliding at the plate. It's just kind of boring," Montero said. "But it is what it is, and we have to adapt to it."
Ziegler passes torch to Goldy as MLBPA rep
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There is a bit of a transition going on in the Arizona Diamondbacks clubhouse when it comes to their representative to the Players Association.
Reliever Brad Ziegler, who has been the team's union rep, is shifting into a larger role within the MLBPA. Ziegler is serving on the executive subcommittee, which means he'll be on conference calls dealing with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is taking Ziegler's place as the D-backs' union rep.
"He's intelligent, he cares and he wants to know, and that's the kind of guy you need to represent the team because he's not afraid to go and ask guys, 'What are your thoughts on this?'" Ziegler said of Goldschmidt. "I've seen in the past where there are some reps that don't get the opinion of the team; they might ask a couple guys. Goldy knows the young guys well enough to where he's going to at least allow them to have input, but probably lean more toward what the veterans are saying because they've been around a little longer."
And getting a wide range of opinions is an important part of being a union rep.
"That's one big thing about this union, even if you've only got one day of [service] time, they want to make sure you have a voice," Ziegler 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.