TUCSON - If Eduardo Perez is a gauge, Randy Johnson is in top form. Perez has five hits, including three home runs, in his past 10 regular-season at-bats against Johnson.
But Johnson struck him out on a 93 mph fastball, throwing 33 pitches in his first spring training game, a “B” game against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday morning.
Johnson got his fastball to 94 mph on his 32nd pitch and struck out three, two on sliders. He gave up an oppositefield double to Wiki Gonzalez but retired the other six batters he faced.
“I’m ahead of schedule, as far as I didn’t kill anybody and I didn’t walk a boatload of batters,” Johnson said.
In previous years, Johnson’s slider typically has been the last pitch he felt comfortable with, so “I think I’m ahead of schedule on that.
“As far as my command, I’m ahead on that. Everything is predicated on how I feel tomorrow,” he said.
Johnson is scheduled to start and pitch three innings Thursday night against San Diego at Chase Field, the D-Backs’ first day back in the Valley.
“I have a long ways to go — stamina, endurance, pitch count. But it was nice to know that I walked away unscathed in two innings and that I was in command against some major league hitters,” Johnson said.
POSITION PLAYERS ALL LINED UP
The D-Backs are nothing if not smart businessmen, a perspective that informs their decisions on player inventory.
Given that, the D-Backs enter the final week of spring training with their 13 position players set, barring injury.
Outfielders Scott Hairston and Dave Krynzel will open the regular season on the 25-man roster, a D-Backs official indicated, completing a reserve group that also includes Tony Clark, Alberto Callaspo and Miguel Montero.
Hairston and Krynzel are out of options, and the D-Backs will not risk losing either, although Hairston was guaranteed a spot when Jeff DaVanon was forced onto the disabled list.
If Carlos Quentin (shoulder) cannot open the regular season, another spot would open for Robby Hammock or Brian Barden.
Quentin might swing a bat today for the first time since his injury March 16 and could play in a game early in the week, but it is too early to estimate a return date.
“Until he actually swings, we don’t know what his prospects will be,” Melvin said.
DAVIS SLOWS IT DOWN
Doug Davis’ work on a mechanical adjustment showed Saturday in his longest and most effective outing, when he gave up three runs in five innings of a 5-4 victory over the White Sox.
“I want to stay back longer, let my arm work and not rush myself forward,” said Davis, who has given up 13 runs in 13 innings.
“Whenever I rush myself, I get hurt every time. Everybody is a little different, but for me, the slower the better.”
Krynzel (flu) was scratched from the starting lineup Saturday, with Hammock playing right field. Hammock made a sliding catch in the fourth inning. …
Micah Owings, who pitched four shutout innings of a 7-6 split-squad loss to a San Diego “A” lineup Saturday in Yuma, but since Owings does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster until next year, it remains almost certain he will open the season at Triple-A Tucson.
What: The Diamondbacks make their final spring visit to Hi Corbett Field for a game against Colorado at 1:05 p.m. The D-Backs have won nine of their past 13 games after splitting two games Saturday.
TV/Radio: FSN Arizona/KTAR-AM (620)
Pitchers: Diamondbacks — Edgar Gonzalez, Tony Peña, Juan Cruz, Jose Valverde. Rockies — Rodrigo Lopez.
Records: D-Backs 15-9. Rockies 13-9.
AT A GLANCE
Padres 7, D-Backs 6
Notable pitching: Micah Owings gave up two singles and two walks in four shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.93. … Doug Slaten lost a 5-0 lead when the Padres scored seven runs in the sixth inning. He was charged with six runs, the final two when Jonathan Castellanos gave up a two-out, three run home run. Slaten’s ERA is 11.74.…
Notable hitting: Miguel Montero walked twice, stole a base and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in a threerun fifth. … Owings, a cleanup hitter in college, had an RBI single. … Chris Young doubled in a run, walked and stole a base, his second.
AT A GLANCE
D-Backs 5, White Sox 4
Notable pitching: Doug Davis gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings, his longest outing, with the White Sox scoring twice in the fifth. … Brandon Lyon had a 1-2-3 sixth, throwing six pitches. … Jorge Julio gave up Darin Erstad’s first spring home run. …
Notable hitting: Stephen Drew had two singles hitting leadoff and stole his second base of the spring in the first inning. … Chad Tracy had two hits, including a two-run double off the rightfield fence, and two walks. … Orlando Hudson had two singles to raise his spring average to .422.