Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

'Competition Thursday' gets juices flowing

D-backs pitchers, batters preparing for games with bunting, situational hitting
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock told himself not to get too worked up, but when his team fell behind in the situational-hitting game during Thursday's practice, he could feel the frustration.

Welcome to Competition Thursday, where the pitchers played a game based on bunting and the hitters on coming through in various situations.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock told himself not to get too worked up, but when his team fell behind in the situational-hitting game during Thursday's practice, he could feel the frustration.

Welcome to Competition Thursday, where the pitchers played a game based on bunting and the hitters on coming through in various situations.

Zack Greinke's team won the bunting contest, while Paul Goldschmidt's and David Peralta's teams were victorious. Peralta's victory came at the expense of Pollock's team. The Goldschmidt and Peralta teams will meet in Sunday's championship game.

Tweet from @Dbacks: The Bunting Games. And the winning celebration? �� #DbacksSpringhttps://t.co/kVpLLqsDiM

"We're hoping it gets competitive," manager Chip Hale said of the intensity that permeated the competitions. "That's the whole idea about having a competition day like today. Sunday will be even tougher. We're going to use live pitchers in the championship game. [In] the consolation game, they'll have to use a machine. You want to get these guys competitive. You want to get them ready for competition. It's going to be right upon us."

Tweet from @Dbacks: Team #FreightTrain celebrates their victory over Team A.J. #DbacksSpring pic.twitter.com/7EJ4hQ5iHt

The D-backs have a pair of exhibition games against West Virginia University and the University of Arizona on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, before opening Cactus League play.

Always looking to get better 

Despite a second-place finish in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player award, Goldschmidt is not one to rest on his accomplishments.

"He sat in the food room for an hour before we went out for stretch and talked with our pitching coach Mike Butcher and just picked his mind on what he thought pitchers thought of him," Hale said of Goldschmidt. "[He's] always trying to improve his game, always trying to step it up."

Tweet from @SteveGilbertMLB: #Dbacks Paul Goldschmidt coming through in situational hitting contest. pic.twitter.com/d3hyyvQCSt

Looking at lefties 

After hitting .197 in 2014 against lefties, Peralta improved to a .250 mark last year. Hale plans to let him start against both righties and lefties to begin this season.

"He worked hard last year on it, and I thought he got better as the season went on," Hale said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt, David Peralta