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Two Split Squad Games on Tap for Diamondbacks Saturday

Arizona will host the Reds at Salt River Fields while a split squad heads out to Surprise to play the Royals

Eduardo Rodriguez will face the Cincinnati Reds at Salt River Fields today at 1:10 P.M. while Tommy Henry will square off against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise at 1:05 P.M.  The game at Salt River will be broadcast on 98.7 Arizona Sports radio but the game in surprise will have no broadcast of any kind. 

Pitching Probables vs. Cincinnati

For Rodriguez it will be his third Cactus League start. He's given up seven runs in four innings, allowing nine hits , including three homers, walking four while striking out six. The veteran voiced no concern at all with these results as he's just trying to get stretched out and get a feel for his pitches.  His velocity has been on par with his numbers for 2023. 

Other pitchers expected to pitch in the Salt River game are 40-man roster relievers  Scott McGough and Peter Strezelecki. McGough is assured of an Opening Day roster spot, but Strezelecki is on the roster bubble and will likely be a depth option during the season. 

Pitching Probables vs. Kansas City

Henry is in the thick of the 5th starter competition along with Ryne Nelson and several other young starters still in camp. Henry had two strong outings, followed by a tougher start his last time out. In 7.1 innings he's given up three runs on seven hits,  three walks, and six strikeouts.  

Henry will be followed by at some point by left-hander  Andrew Saalfrank and fireballing righty Justin Martinez.  Both of these relievers are on the roster bubble as well, battling for one of the final spots in the bullpen. Martinez has given up eight hits and two runs in four innings of work so far, but somewhat encouragingly has walked only one batter while striking out six.  Saalfrank is struggling with his control a bit, walking three in his four innings. 

Lineup vs. Cincinnati

Reds at D-backs Lineups March 9th

Reds at D-backs Lineups March 9th

The top six in the D-backs lineup are all projected Opening Day starter players. Joc Pederson is taking another turn in left field with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. taking a day off after being hit on the left hand with a pitch yesterday.  Top prospect Jordan Lawlar gets the start at shortstop and hot hitting Blaze Alexander (.385 BA, 10-for 26) will be the DH today.  Second year starter Andrew Abbott is starting for the Reds. He has never faced the Diamondbacks before. 

Lineup vs. Kansas City

D-backs at Royals Lineups March 9th

D-backs at Royals Lineups March 9th

Alek Thomas is leading off and in center field. This is his second game since missing over a week with a sore wrist. Jace Peterson is getting some reps at shortstop. He is in a roster battle for utility infielder.  Familiar foe Michael Wacha is pitching for the Royals. He's pitched in eight games and thrown 39 innings against the D-backs since 2013. Thomas went 2-for-2 with a double and a single against Wacha on April 20th of last year.