SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It is possible the D-backs could use balls stored in their Chase Field humidor at some point this spring, though the team does not feel it is a priority to get its pitchers some experience with gripping them.This will be the first season the D-backs will store
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It is possible the D-backs could use balls stored in their Chase Field humidor at some point this spring, though the team does not feel it is a priority to get its pitchers some experience with gripping them.
This will be the first season the D-backs will store baseballs in a humidor as part of Major League Baseball's desire to have all baseball's stored at consistent temperatures and humidity.
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D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said the team is still in the final approval process of the humidor, with a number of experts chosen by Major League Baseball testing it this past week.
"After that, we'll probably find out what we can do for Spring Training," Hazen said. "I would hope that maybe, at a minimum, the Cleveland games [on March 26-27] where we're at Chase we could use them. I'd love to be able to use them some."
If the D-backs don't get the clearance from MLB to use the balls during Spring Training, Hazen said he doesn't expect it to be a detriment.
"Not too, too worried about that," he said. "I don't think there's going to be a major difference here, so I don't think there's a ton to prepare for."
Making their debuts
Outfielder Steven Souza Jr., who was acquired from the Rays last week, will make his Arizona debut Wednesday against the Rockies.
Fellow outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who was signed last week as a free agent, will make his debut on Friday.
Right-hander Taylor Widener, who came over in the deal with Souza, will pitch Tuesday against the Giants.
Former D-backs left-hander Wade Miley made his spring debut for the Brewers on Sunday vs. Arizona.
The D-backs will play split-squad games Monday afternoon with Robbie Ray starting against the Reds in Goodyear at 1:05 p.m. MT (available on Gameday Audio) and Braden Shipley getting the nod against the Rockies at Salt River Fields at 1:10 p.m. MT.
The main reason Ray is pitching the away game is to limit his Spring Training exposure to the Rockies since the D-backs play them so often during the regular season.
"We feel like, no matter where Robbie throws, he's going to go and throw his game plan, and it's going to be a great challenge for him tomorrow in Goodyear," Lovullo said. "We're going to limit his exposure, and when we can, we're going to choose that path."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.