Notes: D-backs set for scrimmage

Notes: D-backs set for scrimmage Wednesday

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Ready to watch real baseball, not stretching and batting practice?

The Diamondbacks will tease fans Wednesday at noon with an intrasquad game at the practice facilities, then they open the Cactus League campaign Thursday against the Chicago White Sox in a 1:05 p.m. MT contest at Tucson Electric Park.

Right-hander Enrique Gonzalez and lefty Dana Eveland will throw in the D-backs vs. D-backs game that should last 5 1/2 or six innings. Manager Bob Melvin has tabbed 16-game winner Brandon Webb to oppose the White Sox in the first of a 31-contest spring slate.

The first five Spring Training games will be at Electric Park, with starters going two innings -- and maybe more. Melvin also announced Livan Hernandez will face Chicago on Friday, Doug Davis will go on Saturday, Edgar Gonzalez will start in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader against Seattle and Dustin Nippert will go in the 7:05 MT nightcap against Colorado. Enrique Gonzalez will start the March 5 game against San Francisco.

Meantime, the 23-year-old Eveland, who compiled a 1-4 record and 6.98 ERA with the Milwaukee Brewers the past two seasons, is a candidate for the rotation, but also could end up in the bullpen.

It won't be Eveland's choice, but how he fares in the intrasquad game could give them an indication of his ultimate role. Last season for the Brewers, he was 0-3 with an 8.13 ERA over nine games, including five starts.

"He can fill a number of different points for us," Melvin said on Sunday. "Once you get to the big leagues, it's about how you're needed. If we need somebody to pitch a certain role and he's capable of doing it, his development is not something we'll think a lot about."

Hairston update: Outfielder Scott Hairston ran -- and as Melvin put it, "stood around" -- in workouts Sunday after taking a line drive from batter Chris Snyder on his right elbow on Saturday while taking baserunning leads off second base.

"It's really sore, and it's quite painful," said the 26-year-old Hairston, who has battled freaky injuries in the past and is probably the favorite for the roster's final position spot.

"I can stretch, take fly balls and grounders, but probably won't do any throwing for the next three days," he said. "It's strictly precautionary. There's no point in trying to do too much right now."

Trainers told Hairston there are nerves and tendons where he got hit and shouldn't aggravate them.

Hairston was lucky. The rocket shot could have nailed him in the head, but he said Snyder's liner was hurtling his way at 100 mph, tracking him like a heat-seeking missile.

"Nothing is broken, but there's no way I can even make a fist or hold a bat," he said. "It feels like a charley horse. But I should be ready for the spring games."

As soon as coach Kirk Gibson witnessed the incident, he cracked, "I'm in trouble now."

Big Unit tosses: Randy Johnson, still rehabbing from October back surgery, played catch Sunday out of sight from fans and media. The veteran threw 25 pitches from the mound Friday and is scheduled to return to the hill Monday.

"I haven't heard anything, so I imagine it went well," Melvin said in mid-afternoon. "Once he starts PFPs [pitchers' fielding practice] he'll probably stretch with everybody else."

No job secure: Melvin does not want outfielder Carlos Quentin and infielder Stephen Drew to think their roster spots are sealed for this season, even if they essentially are.

Melvin says there's always a risk young players could get "big-league attitudes," and won't push hard.

"Sometimes they read their press clippings and start digging it," said the manager. "They do have spots, but they still have to bust it every day and think that nothing is given them. They know they have to fight for a job."

So what about outfielder Chris Young, who's been getting lots of notoriety lately?

"His publicity is well-deserved, but Chris isn't that type of kid," said Melvin. "He wouldn't get out of control."

Rich Draper is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.