Notes: Young's plan for camp; Peralta ready

February 23rd, 2021

As he reflected on the 2020 season, D-backs left-hander pointed out the mental challenges of playing during a global pandemic.

"Last year was probably the biggest mental grind of my life," Young said. "Anyone could probably say the same thing. Just because the rules they had in place, where basically you couldn’t leave your house or hotel. For me, there was no outlet. You couldn’t do anything. I think that messed with a lot of people’s heads. All you’re thinking about is, if you gave up a home run or if you struck out or whatever, that’s all you’re thinking about [alone] in your room. I think mentally that was really tough."

Having learned what worked and what didn't last year, Major League Baseball and the Players Association have come up with guidelines that will allow for a little more interaction, which should help quite a bit.

"I think they have a feel for what we can do outside the field, which is nicer," Young said. "You can golf and stuff like that, which is nice."

After an impressive 17-game debut in 2019 in which he had a 3.56 ERA and made 15 starts, Young bounced between the rotation and the bullpen in 2020.

In seven starts, he had a 6.03 ERA; in eight relief appearances, he compiled a 4.20 ERA.

With the D-backs’ rotation looking pretty set heading into camp with Madison Bumgarner, Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Luke Weaver and Caleb Smith, Young's best shot at making the Opening Day roster might be in the bullpen, where there appears to be a number of spots available.

"I’m approaching it as a starter, kind of long relief," Young said. "Just stretching myself out. If I’m a starter, it’ll be easier to work myself in. If I’m a reliever, you can go long reliever or whatever. I think that’s the best way to handle that situation. I enjoy both [starting and relieving]. Just prepare as a starter and work your way down from there."

Putting in the work
Outfielder 's surgery on his right shoulder AC joint cut short his 2019 season, but it also impacted the amount of work he was able to put in that winter to get ready for 2020.

"They always tell you that you’re good, but it’s always on your mind," Peralta said. "You have to be extra careful."

This winter, it was a different story, as Peralta pushed himself hard physically.

"This past offseason, I was free to do whatever I wanted to do, and I was doing different stuff to get better and stronger with my shoulder, my body, legs, hips and everything," he said. "I was just trying to push myself to the limit and see what I can do to get in better shape and get stronger. Obviously, I was looking to get better. I’m fully healthy. This is what I’m looking for. When I’m healthy, I know I can help this team a lot. I’m excited about this year."

Speaking of Peralta
Peralta faced Bumgarner in live batting practice Tuesday. Last year when the two faced each other during live BP, one of Bumgarner's pitches got away from him and nearly hit Peralta on the head.

"I told him, 'Hey, I remember what happened last year, so easy over there,'" Peralta joked. "He was good. The ball was coming out of his hand good. I’m excited about that. It’s tough as always to face him."

Related

López arrives to camp
Reliever Yoan López was in camp Tuesday after missing some time while waiting for a kidney stone to pass.

Right-hander Humberto Castellanos was also in camp for the first time, after visa issues delayed his arrival from Mexico.