Notes: Weaver hones slider; Ahmed on mend

March 10th, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sometimes when it comes to Spring Training, you have to throw out the numbers when evaluating a performance.

An example of that was 's outing against the Rockies in an 11-4 D-backs loss Tuesday afternoon at Salt River Fields.

Weaver allowed four runs, all on three homers, over three innings. Not ideal numbers.

But one of the biggest things that Weaver is working on to reverse his struggles from a year ago is making improvements with his slider, and pitching coach Matt Herges said during an in-game interview on the club's broadcast that the pitch was the best he's ever seen Weaver throw it.

"We talked a little bit after, and there's a lot of excitement," Weaver said. "So obviously the results weren't amazing, but, man, I threw some really, really good offspeed pitches today."

Ahmed on the mend
Shortstop , who was scratched from Monday's starting lineup with right knee soreness, could return to action in the next few days.

"I will keep him off the field for the rest of the day," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday. "Nick is an unbelievable evaluator of how he's feeling. He knows his body as well as anybody I've ever managed. So we get his input, I think day by day, we'll see an improvement. When he gets back on the field? It won't happen today, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow when he walks in."

Speaking of shortstop
As he takes a peek at candidates to back up Ahmed during the regular season, Lovullo already knows how looks at shortstop.

has looked good in his time at short, and got a look there Tuesday.

and prospect Andy Young can also play there, but they are probably seen more as options in a pinch than designated backups.

'B' game
The D-backs took on the Rockies in a "B" game Tuesday morning at Salt River Fields, with and pitching.

"It was an aggressive low fastball that he seemed to spot up early, and then some secondary stuff that was being thrown off of that," Lovullo said of Widener. "It seemed like he could go to it at any time, and he was getting a lot of swing and miss."

Widener pitched in relief last year after spending most of his pro career as a starter. He's being stretched out as a starter this spring, but the right-hander could wind up in the 'pen again depending on how the D-backs' pitching shakes out.

Game notes
• Rojas continued his torrid spring at the plate, collecting a double and a single while going 2-for-3 and upping his average to .391 as he tries to secure a roster spot.

• Catcher also went 2-for-3, hitting his first homer of the spring.

, who came over at last year's Trade Deadline from Cincinnati in the Archie Bradley deal, was 2-for-3.

• Right-hander , who was signed just after camp opened, made his debut and allowed a run in one inning of work.

• Right-hander , who has yet to allow a baserunner this spring, tossed his third scoreless inning of relief.

Up next
The D-backs travel across town to take on the Dodgers on Wednesday night at Camelback Ranch (6:05 p.m. MST, live on MLB.TV). To prevent the Dodgers from getting an additional look at Madison Bumgarner, the D-backs will have the left-hander pitch in a simulated game earlier in the day.

Seth Frankoff will get the start against Los Angeles with Humberto Castellanos, Anthony Swarzak, Kevin Ginkel, Taylor Guilbeau and Joe Mantiply also slated to pitch for the D-backs.

Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start for the Dodgers.