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D-backs to mix it up by playing simulated games

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs will do their best to simulate game conditions for their pitchers Wednesday and Thursday.

Rather than live batting practice, where pitchers with an "L" screen in front of them throw for a prescribed amount of time to hitters with a batting cage around the plate, the D-backs will mix it up a bit.

One pitcher will throw 15 pitches without a screen to hitters without the batting cage and then sit down to simulate the end of an inning. Another will take the mound and throw 15 pitches before the first pitcher goes back out.

Arizona coaches will call out situations so the pitcher and fielders can react accordingly.

"When we get through the sim games we'll take a look and see if we're going to play any kind of an intra-squad game next week," manager Kirk Gibson said.

How those two days go also will play a role in determining how the team will prepare a pitcher for the start of Cactus League play the following Wednesday.

"On a case-by-case situation we'll decide if it would be better for this guy to have a bullpen, or two bullpens to work on some things, or to put him in a regular game situation," Gibson said. "Some of the guys that maybe won't get into the games for a while we might put a little [intra-squad] game together."

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