SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Yes, catcher Carson Kelly is new to the D-backs this spring, but this wasn't the first time he's gotten to see what the inside of Salt River Fields looks like.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::When he was a freshman at Westview High School in
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Yes, catcher Carson Kelly is new to the D-backs this spring, but this wasn't the first time he's gotten to see what the inside of Salt River Fields looks like.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
When he was a freshman at Westview High School in Portland, Kelly came to Phoenix with the school's baseball team to play in a tournament.
While in the Valley, the team was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Salt River Fields, which had recently been built.
"It was brand new and it was actually pretty cool just to take a tour and say this is the big leagues, this is the coolest thing ever," Kelly said. "We were like, 'This is the best thing ever!' And now I'm here."
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Kelly and his then-teammates got to watch the D-backs take batting practice.
"These guys can hit the ball so far," Kelly remembers thinking.
Westview is scheduled to come back to Phoenix this spring, and Kelly hopes to be able to give the students a tour and speak with them.
"I'm just going to be like, 'Hey guys, I was on the same trip you guys are on 10 years ago," Kelly said.
Left-hander T.J. McFarland was a key part of the Arizona bullpen last year, filling a variety of roles before being shut down in September with inflammation in his elbow.
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This spring, though, McFarland is healthy, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said the veteran looked good during a bullpen session and was able to "finish his fastball," which was something the injury had prevented.
Speaking of health news
Right-hander Braden Shipley, who had surgery last September to remove bone spurs in his elbow, said he felt good after throwing his bullpen session Thursday.
"It wasn't allowing me to have my arm in a consistent slot on a day-to-day basis," Shipley said of the injury. "So every day was just kind of feeling what I had that day. Command was inconsistent, breaking pitch was inconsistent and now I feel like everything is coming out of the same slot, and I'm able to really feel the ball out front."
Shipley, who was the D-backs' first-round pick (15th overall) in the 2013 Draft, was removed from the 40-man roster this winter after compiling a 5.81 ERA for Triple-A Reno and a 7.20 ERA in three relief appearances for the D-backs.
Not so fast
The D-backs are working to ease their pitchers into their throwing routines, so there will be no bullpen sessions Friday, allowing everyone an extra day off.
Pitchers will still go through pitching fielding practice and fundamental drills as long as the rain holds off.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.