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D-backs agree to Minors deal with De La Rosa

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jorge De La Rosa surprised D-backs players when he strolled into the clubhouse just after 8 a.m. MT on Friday.

"Did we re-sign you?" he was asked.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jorge De La Rosa surprised D-backs players when he strolled into the clubhouse just after 8 a.m. MT on Friday.

"Did we re-sign you?" he was asked.

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The news that, yes, De La Rosa had agreed to terms on a Minor League contract to return to the D-backs, brought cheers and hugs in the Arizona clubhouse as players welcomed him back.

De La Rosa, who will turn 37 just after Opening Day, was signed just after camp opened last year to a Minor League deal and wound up winning a spot on the roster. In 65 games, the left-hander went 3-1 with a 4.21 ERA and anERA+ of 114.

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"He had a tremendous year for us last year," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "To get him back is pretty exciting for all of us. The room when they saw him walk in got very excited, and that represents the hard work and dedication that he showed us last year. He showed us what he meant to the group last year."

De La Rosa will once again be competing for a spot in the bullpen, and he gives the D-backs another option against lefties.

Last year, De La Rosa held lefties to a .194 batting average, and he allowed just one earned run in 7 1/3 innings over his final 13 games.

"He got on a really nice roll," Lovullo said. "Down the stretch, he got some huge outs against some quality left-handed batters, and we're excited to have him back. We're not sure what role he'll have. He's got to enter into this competition and see where that takes him."

Getting to know you

D-backs pitchers and catchers took part in a unique drill on Friday, which was a day off of throwing for most of them, designed by pitching coach Mike Butcher.

The pitchers took turns sharing how they like to approach hitters and how they like their catchers to set up. The rest of the group sat in folding chairs listening.

"Developing relationships was, for me, one of the key things for the pitchers and catchers that was working for us last year, and I wanted that to start again this year," Lovullo said. "It was just a session to get familiar with one another. It was nothing that I've ever really seen before, but it was very productive. I think the catchers got a chance to get familiar with what some of these pitchers do and some of their tendencies and preferences, and it was a good old-fashioned session between a pitcher and a catcher without anybody really distracting them."

Delgado and Sherfy throw

Relievers Randall Delgado and Jimmie Sherfy threw their first bullpens of the spring on Friday. The pair are taking things a little slower after injuries last year.

While Sherfy simply had some triceps tightness in September, Delgado missed half the year with a strained flexor tendon. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection toward the end of the season and has not experienced any discomfort while getting ready for the spring.

"My arm is feeling good," Delgado said. "It's really loose. I've been working hard. No pain, nothing right now. It feels normal."

Up next

The D-backs will work out Saturday morning, with stretching beginning a little after 9 a.m. MT. Pitchers will throw bullpen sessions and go through pitchers fielding practice. The team's annual FanFest will be held at Salt River Fields following the workout.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Jorge De La Rosa