Venezuela’s surprisngly early departure from the World Baseball Classic meant that some valuable members of the Arizona Diamondbacks returned to Spring Training. For Miguel Montero, Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado it was surely disappointing but to D’back fans (and probably management) it was a welcome sight to see the trio back at Salt River Fields. Instead of the glare and intensity of the WBC, the three players can at least take it a little bit easier as they prepare for the 2013 season.
Martin Prado hit .455 for Venezuela in the WBC. Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
For Prado, it is a chance to become a little bit more familiar with his new teammates. The third baseman led Venezuela with a .455 batting average with five hits in eleven at-bats. With the injury to Cody Ross, Parra becomes the favorite to start in right field and while he is excellent with the glove, he hasn’t had much time at the position with Justin Upton holding down the fort the past six years. Parra was hitless in eight at-bats in the WBC but celebrated his return to Arizona by hitting a home run and driving in three during last night’s 7-0 D’back victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Montero had two hits in seven at-bats in the Classic and really has nothing to do in camp other than rest up and get ready to catch 130 games this season. Other than Brandon McCarthy, Montero knows the rest of the rotation and most of the members of the bullpen. He still needs to hit during these Spring games to keep his batting eye sharp and his stroke smooth.
The D’backs are not whole yet. Willie Bloomquist, Heath Bell and David Hernandez are all playing for Team USA which battles the Dominican Republic this evening. Those three guys should be back into camp no later than Wednesday. Arizona will then have less than two weeks as a complete unit to prepare for 2013. So, D’back fans were you happy six of your players were involved in the WBC or would you have preferred if they stayed at Spring Training?
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