Randy Johnson is making progress in his return from October back surgery, although his availability for the start of the regular season remains uncertain.
Johnson, who had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, has been playing long toss at Chase Field, gradually extending his distance during the recovery process.
“We’re encouraged that he’s throwing from 120 feet,” D-Backs manager Bob Melvin said Friday.
“The next step will be to get on the mound. It could be this next week. We feel like maybe he’s a week or 10 days behind.”
Pitchers and catchers are to report to the training facility in Tucson on Feb. 16, with the first workout Feb. 17.
The first full-squad workout is Feb. 22.
The D-Backs announced they will televise a franchise-record 152 regular-season games in 2007 – 78 on Fox Sports Net Arizona, 75 on KTVK (Ch. 3) and one on the Fox national network (Ch. 10).
Daron Sutton, signed to a five-year contract this winter to replace Thom Brennaman, and analyst Mark Grace will call the games. Matt Williams and Joe Garagiola Jr. also will be used as analysts.
“We are committed to working with our media partners to provide the best and most insightful coverage both on and off the field,” team president Derrick Hall said.
KTVK will televise the D-Backs’ season-opener April 2 against Colorado, a 12:05 p.m. start.
FSN Arizona also will televise three spring training games, March 21 against the Los Angeles Angels, March 25 against Colorado and March 31 against San Diego.
Greg Schulte signed a four-year contract extension Friday that will keep him with the franchise through the 2011 season.
Schulte, who has been with the franchise since its inception, will be joined on flagship radio station KTAR (620 AM) again this season by analyst Tom Candiotti, who made his debut in 2006.
“Greg is the voice of the Arizona Diamondbacks,” Hall said. “The passion he has for the game and this team comes through in every broadcast.”