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In first session vs. hitters, Skaggs impresses Gibson

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tyler Skaggs came into camp determined to win the No. 5 spot in Arizona's rotation, and the extra work the left-hander put in this winter appears to have paid off.

Skaggs had a session facing hitters for the first time in batting practice Sunday.

"I thought Skaggs was pumped up a little bit today," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Early on he seemed to be overthrowing a little bit, but I thought he settled down and started throwing the way he's been throwing in the bullpen."

There's still plenty of work to be done, but Skaggs is happy with where he's at.

"I started throwing a lot earlier this year, so I feel like my arm is in better shape than it was last year," he said. "I'm trying to fix that because I know I'm a little bit of a slow starter, but once I get things clicking, life is good. I feel like the curveball is coming along well this year and that's usually the last thing to come, so that's good. I've got good feel with it.

"Fastball command is the only thing I'm really worrying about right now, though, still kind of wild all over the place. That's also coming with just keep throwing every day and your arm is getting used to it and stuff."