3/31/2014 9:37 P.M. ET
Blanco takes job as D-backs' assistant hitting coach
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- After taking a day to think about it, veteran catcher Henry Blanco decided to accept the D-backs' offer to join their Major League coaching staff.
Blanco, 42, signed a Minor League contract during the offseason with the understanding that if he did not win the backup catching job, he would become the team's assistant hitting coach. After a tough battle, Blanco was edged out for the spot by Tuffy Gosewisch.
When he was informed of the decision Saturday, Blanco spent a day looking to see if there might be a big league job available for him, but when he discovered there was not one to be had, he accepted the coaching job.
"It's been crazy the first day," Blanco said after going from a hitters' meeting to batting practice.
Blanco began his professional career in 1990, and since 1999, he has spent at least part of every season in the big leagues.
While he didn't 100 percent rule out getting back onto the field again, he said it would have to be a really good opportunity to get him to leave.
"I'm more now a coach," he said. "I think this is a good opportunity to stay here in Arizona."
Mark Grace, who had been filling in on the coaching staff while Blanco tried to win a job, will now go back to his original position and be the hitting coach for Class A Short-Season Hillsboro in the Northwest League.
Hernandez to undergo Tommy John surgery
PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever David Hernandez is headed for Tommy John surgery.
Hernandez saw Dr. James Andrews on Monday and Andrews confirmed what team physician Michael Lee diagnosed last week -- Hernandez has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.
Hernandez will have the surgery performed by Andrews on Tuesday and will be lost for the entire 2014 season.
"It's disappointing, but we have to regroup," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said when Hernandez was first diagnosed. "I don't have an answer for who will be there, but we do have some guys with experience in the back end. Our bullpen will have a different dynamic, but it's just another opportunity for someone else. We still have a lot of good choices."
Delgado excited to earn rotation spot
PHOENIX -- Randall Delgado's preference all along was to be in the starting rotation, so when the D-backs right-hander was told he would be the No. 5 starter, he smiled.
"It was good," he said. "I was very happy, and it was a little bit of encouragement to try to be better and work hard and help the team."
Delgado's first start will come Friday afternoon against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Delgado was in the conversation for the No. 5 role when Spring Training opened, but seemed ticketed for the bullpen after the D-backs signed free agent Bronson Arroyo a few days into camp.
But when Patrick Corbin hurt his elbow and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery, the door reopened for Delgado.
"I was trying to be ready for whatever happened," Delgado said. "I've been a starter so I'm not afraid. That's what I like to do."
D-backs relish coming home for opener
PHOENIX -- The D-backs technically had their Opening Day more than a week ago in Sydney, Australia, but Monday night was the day they had been pointing to all along.
The D-backs reopened their season with their home opener against the Giants at Chase Field.
"It was a little different over there," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of the two-game series with the Dodgers in Australia. "Guys have been looking forward to this. It was a little different playing some games that counted, then coming back and playing a couple that didn't count. But we've been looking forward to this so you can just get into the season to where we're just back to the normal routine."
Of course, there was nothing routine about Opening Day for left-handed reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith.
The 31-year-old native of Australia was not on the roster for the team's two games against the Dodgers and had not appeared in a big league game since 2010. But an injury to setup man David Hernandez and the team's decision to carry 13 rather than 12 pitchers opened up a spot for Rowland-Smith.
"I was really excited," Rowland-Smith said. "It's been a long time coming. You want something so bad and you work your butt off and wait and be patient and finally it feels like all the hard work you've done, that people recognize it. It's just a special feeling."
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.