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D-backs' spring set to start early this year

Opening season in Australia, Arizona to hold workouts before any other club

PHOENIX -- Thanks to their regular-season opening series in Sydney, Australia, on March 22-23, the D-backs will open Spring Training before any other Major League team.

D-backs pitchers and catchers will report to Salt River Fields on Feb. 6, with their first workout scheduled for the following day.

Position players will report Feb. 11, and the club's first full-squad workout will be Feb. 12.

The D-backs will face the Dodgers, who open their spring camp two days after Arizona, in the historic season-opening series. The two teams will then return to Arizona for another week of Spring Training games.

Both teams need the extra time to get their pitchers' arms in shape for opening the season a week ahead of the rest of baseball.

"Pitching, again, with the Australia trip, it's going to be tricky," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said during last month's Winter Meetings. "What do you do with your pitching to get them ready? Who do you get ready for that start in Australia against the Dodgers? And how does that affect what's going to go on the beginning of April, as well?"

Other than the D-backs and Dodgers, most of the other teams' pitchers and catchers will not have their first workout until Feb. 13.

Workouts are open to the public, and fans may park in the Desert Lot on the north side of the complex, which is best accessed via 90th Street off of Via de Ventura.

The D-backs will open Cactus League play Feb. 26 against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields.

Individual tickets for all 2014 Spring Training games at Salt River Fields will go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. MT.

In addition to the members of the 40-man roster, the D-backs will have 27 non-roster invitees in camp:

Pitchers (13): Jake Barrett, Mike Bolsinger, Archie Bradley, R.J. Hively, Daniel Hudson, Willy Paredes, Adam Russell, A.J. Schugel, Seth Simmons, Matt Stites and Jess Todd.

Catchers (4): Henry Blanco, Blake Lalli, Bobby Wilson and Steven Rodriguez.

Infielders (7): Nick Ahmed, Nick Evans, Michael Freeman, Mike Jacobs, Sean Jamieson, Jake Lamb and Andy Marte.

Outfielders (3): Danny Dorn, Justin Greene and Evan Marzilli.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks