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Zac Gallen Makes Progress in Second Spring Training Start

The D-backs ace was down a couple of mph in velocity, Jake McCarthy and Blaze Alexander have good days at the plate.

The Arizona Diamondbacks tied the San Diego Padres at two apiece in today's game. Jake McCarthy was the hero for the Snakes with a two-RBI triple while Jackson Merrill hit a two-run homer off of D-backs ace Zac Gallen. The Diamondbacks are going to need Zac Gallen to be their ace for the entire season and to remain healthy. It's safe to say that they can't afford to lose him for any part of the season or for him to be ineffective. That's why the team has been slow-playing him this spring after he threw over 240 innings last season.

Gallen was able to get three "up-downs" in today's game despite pitching just 2.2 innings. He was removed in the second inning before coming back out to pitch the third. His final line for his second Spring Training outing was five hits, two runs, and a walk. Spring Training is about getting your velocity and location right while building your pitch count. Gallen did that today.

His fastball consistently sat between 89-91 mph with the majority hitting 90. That's down from last year when he averaged 93.6 mph and from 2022 when he averaged 94.1 mph. However, it's still early into Spring Training for him especially with this just being his second start. It's quite likely that his velocity will get back to 93-94 once again come Opening Day.

Joe Mantiply pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning with a strikeout as he pushes for a bullpen spot. One of his competitors, Andrew Saalfrank, had a flawless fifth inning inducing weak contact and striking out Fernando Tatis Jr. on a wicked curveball.

Corbin Martin continues to make a successful return from his arm injury. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning with a strikeout, weak contact, and a bleeding double that was cued off the end of the bat. His fastball was great and it was encouraging to see him throw it consistently 93-94, topping out at 95.

Blake Walston pitched two innings, gave up two hits, and struck out two while showing good command of all of his pitches. He's still in the mix for a rotation spot, but it's hard to see him making the Opening Day roster.

Blaze Alexander continued to hit with a single that brought his average up to .400. Plus, he showed his speed on the basepaths and his range in the field with multiple strong plays.

Jake McCarthy had a sterling day at the plate with a two-run triple in the fifth inning that tied the game at two and drove in Tucker Barnhart and Alexander. He also had a single to lead the game off and stole a base. McCarthy needed this at the plate as he competes for a backup outfielder spot.

Barnhart continued to display a solid approach at the plate with two walks. Plus, he was great at blocking pitches and calling the game from behind the plate. One certainly has to expect that the Non-Roster Invitee is the leader for the backup catcher position over Jose Herrera.

The Arizona Diamondbacks return to play tomorrow against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. It's a 1:10 P.M. local time start. Merrill Kelly will make his second Spring Training start and will likely go three innings.