Outlook: Goldschmidt a power threat for 2013

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs are in ongoing talks with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt on a contract extension according to a report by FOXsports.com.

D-backs general manager Kevin Towers declined to comment on the report, as did Goldschmidt.

Towers did say that his preference is for extension talks with any player to conclude before the start of the regular season so as not to be a distraction.

During the D-backs FanFest in February, Towers said the organization had approached Goldschmidt's representatives about an extension during the offseason, but that Goldschmidt's side wanted to wait to see how the market developed going forward.

Whether something gets worked out or not remains to be seen, but the D-backs have made no secret of how highly they regard Goldschmidt. The 25-year-old had an on-base plus slugging mark of .850 last season, his first full year in the big leagues.

The two sides have plenty of time as Goldschmidt does not become eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2014 season.

Gibson keeping options open with rotation order

LAD@ARI: Cahill fans five in solid start vs. Dodgers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said late last month that his starting rotation would likely line up as Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley and Brandon McCarthy, he cautioned that it was not set in stone.

Tuesday he seemed to hedge on that order.

"I'm not sure it will be that way, but it could be," Gibson said. "I can tell you we have many different scenarios. We've got two weeks to go. I think I've been pretty consistent that many things can happen. I'm never going to pick my team early."

The D-backs could elect to skip their fifth starter the first time through the rotation. The first time they would need a fifth starter would be April 9, the eighth game of the season at home against the Pirates.

"We look at matchups all through the schedule, who guys would fall against," Gibson said of what will play into the decision. "Specifically you'd look at Yankee Stadium and use your imagination who you might want to pitch there."

The D-backs play at Yankee Stadium April 16-18 and it is a ballpark known to be very favorable to left-handed hitters.

Snake bites

• Injured outfielder Cody Ross ran on the Ultra G treadmill Monday for the first time since injuring his calf March 3.

The Ultra G treadmill utilizes a harness to lift the runner so that he uses only a certain percentage of his body weight. Ross ran on just 50 percent of his body weight Monday.

Both manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers said it was still possible Ross could be ready for the April 1 opener, but that if there's any doubt the team will err on the side of caution.

• The D-backs spent time working on reading line drives during a base-running drill Tuesday morning.

"A lot of it is concentration," Gibson said. "We put the time in and mentally think our way through it so we are better prepared to make better decisions on the bases."

Improving the team's base-running has been an emphasis of camp this year.