The torch has been passed. Randy Johnson caught Tony Clark’s eye in the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse and said: “You’re the old guy until I get back,” before they both shared a good-natured laugh. It could be a month.
Johnson threw 54 pitches Monday in his second batting practice session, showing the regular-season bite on his slider that causes right-handed hitters to swing at balls that would hit their back foot. But D-Backs general manager Josh Byrnes confirmed that Johnson will still open the season on the disabled list, a fate that appeared unavoidable from the start of camp.
“We’ve got him for two years, and he’s pretty valuable for us. We don’t want to rush things,” Byrnes said.
Johnson expects to make his first start of the spring next week, although a schedule has not been determined. It could be in a regular game, a “B” game or an intrasquad game.
“You don’t really know what you have until you get out there being competitive. I feel good enough I can do that right now. It’s just a matter now of getting game-ready,” Johnson said.
Donnie Sadler, Jeff DaVanon and Chris Carter put the only three balls in play that would have been hits against Johnson.
Carlos Quentin is expected to miss at least seven days with a sore left shoulder after his Monday MRI exam, D-Backs’ general manager Josh Byrnes said.
“It looks like he will miss another week or so with the strained shoulder,” Byrnes said.
The time frame would appear to give Quentin, the D-Backs’ starting right fielder, enough time to be ready for the D-Backs’ regular-season opener April 2 in Colorado.
Quentin has been one of the D-Backs’ best hitters this spring, tying for the team high with three home runs and 10 RBIs while striking out only once in 33 plate appearances.
He has reported discomfort since a taking a swing in the fourth inning of a game against Oakland on Friday after homering in the first inning.
Eric Byrnes started in right field for the third time in five games and would be the logical candidate there if Quentin is forced to miss more time, inasmuch as fourth outfielder Jeff DaVanon (shoulder, ankle) also was ruled out for opening by Josh Byrnes on Monday.
Scott Hairston is considered only a left fielder, as is utility man Robby Hammock, although Dave Krynzel can play all three outfield positions.
Former Arizona State infielder Steve Garrabrants played high school baseball at Phoenix Moon Valley and spent many spring afternoons at Peoria Stadium, so his home run onto the left field berm Monday may have hit just about where he used to camp out.
“I grew up 15 minutes from here. This is where I grew up watching spring training,” said Garrabrants, a D-Backs minor leaguer.
Garrabrants hit a three-run home run in front of friends and family in the seventh inning.
Former D-Backs right-hander Miguel Batista will receive the Luis Gonzalez Sueño Award at the second annual Latino Baseball award festival Wednesday at Stoudemire’s Downtown, 3 S. 2nd St., in Phoenix, as presented by LatinoFuture magazine. Six-time All-Star Bert Campaneris will receive the Orlando Cepeda Latin Legends Award. Major leaguers Jose Valverde and Alex Cintron and nine-year major leaguer Gil Heredia of Nogales also will attend. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at www.latinofuture.com or by calling (602) 248-9230. Part of the proceeds are to benefit the nonprofit “Friendly House.”
What: The Diamondbacks finish their home-and-home set against Seattle with a 1:05 p.m. game against the Mariners at Tucson Electric Park. The D-Backs have won six of their past eight games, and eight of the past 11.
Pitchers: Diamondbacks — Edgar Gonzalez, D.J. Carrasco, Tony Peña.0 Mariners — Jeff Weaver, Eric O’Flaherty, Jon Huber, Jorge Campillo.
Records: D-Backs 13-6, Mariners 7-13.
AT A GLANCE
Mariners 8, D-Backs 5
Notable pitching: Doug Davis gave up six runs on 10 hits and four walks, although it appeared he did not get the benefit of the doubt on a few cut fastballs on the inside corner that were called balls. He was helped by a double play grounder and two alert defensive plays, when Tony Clark threw behind a runner at third and Chris Young and Stephen Drew combined to throw a runner out at home trying to score from first on a double.
Notable hitting: Chad Tracy came a few feet from his second home run in as many games with a double to deep right-center before scoring on Scott Hairston’s double down the left field line. … Former ASU infielder Steve Garrabrants hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning his first at-bat with the major league team this spring.