Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke comments on his side session to minor leaguers at Salt River Fields on Mar. 13, 2017. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin gave up three runs in 3 1/3 innings against the White Sox but came away sounding upbeat. Video: Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Right-hander Taijuan Walker struck out eight in four scoreless innings for the Diamondbacks on Friday vs. the Brewers.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke’s fastball was in the upper-80s on Wednesday at Salt River Fields.
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller lasted 2 2/3 innings against the A’s, giving up six runs, on Tuesday. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker gave up just one hit in three scoreless innings against the White Sox on Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin, who is vying for a spot in the rotation, gave up two runs in three innings against the Padres on Saturday in Peoria.
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Diamondbacks right-handed Shelby Miller talks about his impressive outing vs. the Cubs. Miller struck out six in three innings.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Archie Bradley tossed three scoreless innings in his second start of spring training.
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray was upbeat despite walking three in 1 1/3 innings on Wednesday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale breaks down the story lines to follow as spring training heats up.
USA TODAY Sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker talks about his outing on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers in Surprise. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Here are some longtime favorites about America’s favorite pastime.
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The MLB is changing up the intentional walk in an effort to improve the pace of play.
USA TODAY Sports
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The Brewers by position: Bullpen
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USA TODAY Sports has released its projected win totals for the 2017 MLB season.
USA TODAY Sports
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USA TODAY Sports released its annual list of players to watch for in the upcoming season.
USA TODAY Sports
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke about his frustration with the MLBPA, which he said rebuffed the league’s efforts to make any of a number of rules changes at Tuesday’s Cactus League Media Day at the Biltmore. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Ken Kendrick discusses the team’s lawsuit with the Maricopa County Stadium District over over Chase Field maintenance costs at spring-training camp on Friday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and his new team’s foundation at Cactus League Media Day at the Arizona Biltmore on Tuesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks had their photos taken on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at Salt River Fields.
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Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses how difficult it is to win back-to-back championships in the MLB on Tuesday at Cactus League Media Day at the Arizona Biltmore on Tuesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses how to prepare for this season in regards to overworking and injuries after last season’s championship run at Cactus League Media Day at the Arizona Biltmore on Tuesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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The Arizona Diamondbacks hosted fans to celebrate the start of spring training and the 2017 season at D-Backs Fan Fest at Salt River Fields on Monday. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney tosses a bullpen session at Salt River Fields.
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There are several MLB teams looking for new stadiums, while at least two are happy with their old-school dwellings.
USA TODAY Sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker throws his first official bullpen session of spring training at Salt River Fields on Tuesday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller tosses his first bullpen of the spring at Salt River Fields on Tuesday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Ron Gardenhire, Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach, annouced on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the team’s spring training complex at Salt River Fields. Manager Torey Lovullo also spoke. Video: Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on what he sees in his team and pitcher Shelby Miller heading into the first days of spring training at Salt River Fields. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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D-Backs pitcher Archie Bradley, sporting facial hair that he has not shaved since October 31st, reports to spring training camp in Scottsdale. (Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports)
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D-Backs skipper Torey Lovullo press conference at spring training camp in Scottsdale. (Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports)
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D-Backs pitcher Patrick Corbin reports to spring training camp in Scottsdale. (Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks right-hander Archie Bradley talks about the excitement of getting spring training started, saying “I couldn’t sleep last night.” Video: Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks have faced tough seasons and payroll limitations, and it might cost them a beloved franchise player. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com
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Proliferation of young talent in the game provides an abundance of inexpensive options to stock a roster.
USA TODAY Sports
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Are the Arizona Diamondbacks right to sue Maricopa County over Chase Field? Columnist E.J. Montini says no.
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With the longest championship drought in American professional sports, the Cubs have seen a lot change since they last won the World Series, in 1908.
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Zack Greinke comments on his throwing session
Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin after spring outing vs. White Sox
Taijuan Walker after latest dominant start for D-Backs
Zack Greinke on his diminished velocity in start vs. Mexico
Shelby Miller discusses latest start
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his latest strong outing
D-Backs lefty Patrick Corbin after spring outing vs. Padres
Shelby Miller on his outing vs. Cubs
Archie Bradley on strong outing vs. Padres
Robbie Ray on his spring training debut
Spring training story lines to watch
Taijuan Walker throws two innings in spring debut
Some things about Spring Training season just haven’t changed…
MLB changing intentional walks for 2017
Just the FAQs: Brewers at bullpen
Projecting the 2017 MLB season
MLB’s 100 Names to Know for 2017
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on rule changes, MLBPA cooperation
Diamondbacks’ Ken Kendrick discusses team’s lawsuit
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on Goldschmidt, team’s core
Behind the scenes at Diamondbacks Photo Day
Cubs’ Joe Maddon on why it’s difficult to repeat
Cubs’ Joe Maddon on this season’s preparation
A look at Diamondbacks Fan Fest 2017
Closer Fernando Rodney throws bullpen session
Baseball stadiums on the way out or in danger of extinction
Taijuan Walker throws bullpen session at Salt River Fields
Shelby Miller throws bullpen session at Salt River Fields
D-Backs bench coach Ron Gardenhire diagnosed with prostate cancer
D-Backs manager Lovullo on getting started, Shelby Miller
D-Backs pitcher Archie Bradley talks about his beard
D-Backs skipper Torey Lovullo press conference
D-Backs pitcher Patrick Corbin reports to spring training camp in Scottsdale
Diamondbacks’ pitcher Archie Bradley: “New year. New team. New everything. We’re excited.”
D-Backs near crossroads with Goldschmidt
The best MLB lineup realistic money can buy
Montini: Diamondbacks’ lawsuit is one big error
Cubs, coffee and cars: How things have changed since the North Siders last won the World Series
Chris Herrmann forgets where he was when he first heard the nickname; remembering only that his wife liked it and she wanted to know what it meant. Actually, so did Chris.
At one point last season, Diamondbacks broadcaster Steve Berthiaume started calling him “Babe Herrmann” during games. Babe? As in George Herman “Babe” Ruth? The Sultan of Swat? The King of Crash? The Colossus of Clout?
Herrmann had his moments last season as a backup catcher and part-time outfielder, driving in some key runs here and there. But comparing him to the Bambino seemed like one whale of a stretch.
“Yeah, it was in reference to somebody else – this guy named Babe Herman,” Herrmann nodded with a slight laugh. “I haven’t looked up his stats or anything, but I guess he was an old-timer way back in the day and I guess it carried over to me. I don’t mind it.”
Floyd Caves “Babe” Herman was a right fielder and first baseman best known for his several seasons with the Brooklyn Robins in the 1930s. He was a career .324 hitter who hit for the cycle three times. He wasn’t so great with a glove and he had his share of foibles on the base paths, but still, the nickname was a compliment to Herrmann.
He prefers another moniker, however. The Herrmannator.
“Yeah, I had a lot of my teammates and the coaching staff all call me Herrmannator and I kind of like it,” Herrmann said. “Plus, I was a big fan of the Terminator growing up, so … ”
So if the Terminator could play baseball, he’d probably be an awful lot like Herrmann, whom Arizona acquired in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Twins. Herrmann is known for his toughness and relentless play, not to mention his versatility to man almost any position on the field.
He’s listed as a backup at four different spots: left field, right field, catcher and first base. Last season, then-manager Chip Hale even had him warm up on three occasions as an emergency relief pitcher. Herrmann never actually took the mound, which he says now “was probably a good thing.”
“But I think I could maybe prop up to, you know, 90 mph if I wanted to,” he said confidently. “I’m definitely not trying to blow out my arm in a game, though. If I was training myself to be a pitcher that would be a different story.”
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Why not? He can do just about everything else.
“Yeah, we’ve been asking a lot of him because he’s going to wear a bunch of different hats this year,” first-year manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s going to potentially get at-bats at first base and we’re going to start to transition him to the outfield. So because of that, we feel very fortunate.
“There’s a lot of moving parts in a National League game that I’m still getting familiar with and in this case, we know he is as versatile as they come and he gives you a quality at-bat. We’re lucky to have him. It’s up to us to make sure we prepare him for the role that he’s going to fall into and we’re doing that right now.”
Besides having to pack four to five different gloves in his bag every morning, Herrmann has to make sure he keeps a close eye on the workout schedule so he knows to which practice field and what batting group he is assigned.
“Being versatile, I’ve got to kind of like learn as I go, if that makes any sense,” Herrmann said.
Herrmann, 29, hit .284 for the Diamondbacks last season with six homers and 28 RBIs in 148 at-bats until a fractured left hand ended his year. In parts of five major league seasons, he’s never appeared in more than 57 games or had more than 178 plate appearances.
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He hopes his playing time grows in 2017, though he’s concerned only with locking down a spot on the 25-man roster at the moment.
“I definitely feel like I still have to earn a spot,” said Herrmann, who collected three singles on Tuesday against the Rangers. “I know some guys are blessed. They know they’re making the team and all that, but each and every year, I feel like I need to earn my spot on this team. So, it’s just keep working hard and show these guys I want to play.”
He felt he was making some great strides until he broke his hand. He hit for average, hit well with runners in scoring position and delivered some late-game heroics. Those are positives, he said, that he can look back and use as motivation for this season.
Learning how to add first base to his daily repertoire is keeping him plenty busy.
“I’m definitely playing a lot of first this spring,” he said. “I’ve played it some in the past when I was younger and stuff, so I get the idea of how to play there. But there’s all kinds of things that come into play, like cutoffs and relays and positioning yourself for lefties or righties.
“I think in the long run I would definitely just like to concentrate on catching, because I’m a catcher at heart. I’ve been doing that my entire life. Right now, this is what’s getting me a job, is being versatile. And that’s good. It’s helped me out and got me a lot of playing time last year. It got my bat in the lineup and that’s all that really matters right now.”
Reach McManaman at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.