ARI@CHC: Arroyo makes spring debut with D-backs

PHOENIX -- The news on veteran starter Bronson Arroyo was good Friday, although the conclusion of this mid-spring episode of back stiffness won't be known for sure for a couple of weeks.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Arroyo was feeling much better when he arrived at the team's facility Friday morning, and the skipper could see that just by looking at him.

"You can tell he knows it feels better just by his attitude and the way he's carrying himself around," Gibson said.

Whether that means Arroyo, who has yet to be placed on the disabled list in his 14 years in the Majors, will start the season healthy and part of the rotation to begin the season remains an unanswered question for Gibson.

"We're not thinking about that," Gibson said. "We're just thinking about getting him back into throwing, getting him a bullpen and building up from there and see how he's progressing."

At least he's headed in the right direction. For his part, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers is taking the "positive approach" and thinking that Arroyo will be ready to start the season as part of the active roster.

"I mean, he's never been on the DL, so I don't anticipate him being on the DL," Towers said. "So he'll either start one of the games against the Giants or the first game against Colorado. I think a lot will depend on how our rotation falls, how he's feeling, what his pitch count is up to. I think he's certainly got enough time, even if it's for the Colorado series, to get two or three outings and get close to 75 pitches."

Delgado's future as starter remains unclear

ARI@MIL: Delgado fans Gomez for his third strikeout

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Randall Delgado knows that he'll be heading to Australia as part of the D-backs' pitching staff, but his immediate future as a starter remains up in the air.

Delgado pitched four innings as the starter in Friday's game against the Brewers, allowing two runs on a homer by Jonathan Lucroy among a total of five hits while striking out three and walking none. The 24-year-old is stretching out far enough to be a starter, but especially with veteran Bronson Arroyo taking a turn for the better, there might not be room for him in the rotation.

"You just have to be prepared for everything. You never know what's going to happen," Delgado said. "I have to be ready for both. Even if they tell me if I'm going to be in the bullpen for sure, you never know what can happen."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson would have liked to have seen a little bit more from Delgado in Friday's outing.

"He threw the ball OK, but he's got to command the zone better, he just has to do it," Gibson said. "With his changeup he's trying to get ahead in the count and he's trying to make the perfect pitch instead of just throwing it and letting it do what it does."

Short hops

• The 30 players who will be on the roster for the trip to Australia should be finalized by Saturday morning, Towers said. He said there's still discussion of whether they'll go with 11 pitchers or 12 on the 25-man roster that will be in place for the two games against the Dodgers in the Opening Series.

"We probably won't make that decision until right before the Dodgers series," Towers said.

• Veteran reliever Brad Ziegler had another rough go of it Friday, allowing three runs on three hits in an inning of work to bump his ERA to 13.50. Gibson noted that Ziegler has had rough springs before and recovered to pitch well in the regular season.

Rudy Flores, a 21st-round draft pick, continues to impress with his bat, smacking his second homer of the spring to go along with three doubles in 10 at-bats.

"He can rake," Gibson said. "I think he dreams about raking in his sleep."