Pfaadt 'fantastic' in debut -- and he made sure to have fun

Bumgarner working toward Cactus action; Marte flashing skills early in camp

February 28th, 2023

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- had some nerves going through his system Monday when he took the mound for the first time this spring, but you’d have a hard time convincing the Cubs of that fact.

Pfaadt, the organization’s pitcher of the year in 2022, was making just his second career Cactus League appearance as he battles for the open No. 5 spot in the rotation.

“I was a little antsy in the first inning, but once the second inning came and the defense made a few plays for me, I kind of settled in quite nice,” Pfaadt said. “First game, first big league camp, so adrenaline's running high. Everybody kept saying have fun. So I was like, 'Why don’t I go out there and have fun?' It's just a game at a higher level, and as you kind of work your way up through the Minors, you kind of realize that.”

The 24-year-old struck out two and allowed one hit and one walk while tossing two scoreless innings in the D-backs' 3-0 win over the split-squad Cubs. hit a three-run walk-off home run in the ninth for the game's only runs.

“Pfaadt was fantastic,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I think he was a little bit nervous, maybe a little bit jumpy with the first few batters, but he settled in. He can throw any pitch at any time, and any mix of pitch. That's what I read about him [in the scouting reports], and that's what I saw today.”

Pfaadt -- ranked by MLB Pipeline as the D-backs' No. 4 prospect -- struck out 218 batters last year between Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno, making him the first Minor League pitcher to reach the 200-plus-strikeout milestone since 2011.

As much as his physical talent, the organization loves Pfaadt's mental approach to the game, and there’s little doubt he’ll be able to deal with the competition for a rotation spot.

“I’m just telling myself to control what I can control and go out there and pitch the best I can,” Pfaadt said. “Whatever happens, happens, and we'll see at the end of Spring Training.”

Bumgarner faces hitters
Left-hander  faced hitters in live batting practice Monday morning, the veteran’s third such session this spring.

Bumgarner’s next action will likely be in a Cactus League game, but Lovullo wasn’t ready to say when that would be.

Ketel looking good
Second baseman looks to be in excellent shape this spring, and it has translated on the field -- where he has hit several balls hard and, on Monday, made an outstanding backhanded play in which he flashed considerable range.

“I think he’s moving better,” GM Mike Hazen said. “I think he did everything he needed to do coming into this Spring Training. That’s very good for us. He’s our best player.”

• Right-hander told the organization that he has decided to retire. Crichton pitched in parts of three seasons for the D-backs from 2019-21, appearing in 85 games. He underwent Tommy John surgery following the 2021 season, and he pitched four games for Reno last year.

Non-roster invite Yairo Munoz participated in camp drills Monday after missing the first 10 days due to visa issues.

• Third baseman made his D-backs debut Monday, going 0-for-3 while serving as the designated hitter. Longoria had been a few days behind after missing some time due to strep throat.

Up next
The D-backs play host to the White Sox on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. MST, with making his first start of the spring. , and are also expected to see action.

On Wednesday, the D-backs will head to Scottsdale Stadium to take on the Giants at 1:05 p.m., with making his second start of the spring. is slated to make his second spring start on Thursday against the Dodgers in Glendale at 1:05 (live on MLB.TV).