The Next Knuckler winner throws first bullpen session

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs made 15 roster moves late Wednesday night, but reality show winner Josh Booty's reassignment to the club's Minor League camp caught the most attention.

Booty was with Arizona as a non-roster invitee after winning the spot on "The Next Knuckler" show put on by MLB Network last month.

The 37-year-old's only appearance came in a "B" game on March 10 against Minor Leaguers from the San Francisco Giants when he allowed two runs on a hit and two walks in an inning. Despite not throwing in a Cactus League game, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson spoke highly of Booty's work ethic during his time with the big league club.

"He's improved a ton, he lost close to 15 pounds with the workouts," Gibson said. "He's gotten much better, but where he's at, he's not ready for a Major League game right now. We're going to try to get him into more games down there, that's why we sent him out."

Booty, who was originally drafted in 1994 by Miami before deciding to play football instead, is still technically the property of the Marlins. D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said earlier this spring, however, he thought the Marlins would be fine with him pitching in the Minor Leagues once spring training concluded.

Gibson said Friday the team would look to continue developing Booty depending on what the club sees from him through the rest of camp.

"I think if he can continue to improve, he'll have an opportunity to stay here and play in extended spring training," Gibson said. "If he doesn't, and the organization doesn't have a spot for him, I'd encourage him to go to independent ball and do it."

In addition to Booty, the D-backs reassigned Nick Ahmed, Matt Davidson, Ed Easley, David Holmberg, Garrett Mock, Chris Owings and Bo Schultz to Minor League camp as well.

The club also optioned Chase Anderson, Charles Brewer, Eury De la Rosa and Alfredo Marte to Triple-A Reno while sending Keon Broxton, Eric Smith and Zeke Spruill to Double-A Mobile.

The D-backs now have 44 players in camp, 33 from the 40-man roster and 11 non-roster invitees.

Latest outing has McCarthy building up stamina

MEX@ARI: Brandon McCarthy discusses spring progress

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Stretched out to four innings for the first time this spring, D-backs right-hander Brandon McCarthy admitted he felt tired during his outing Friday, but was happy for the experience as he continues building up toward the regular season.

"It was just a tough day energy-wise," he said. "Early on I was completely out of synch, I didn't feel good mechanically. Then the middle two innings, I was able to adjust and get back to where I needed to be and then in the fourth inning, I was kind of just going along, and I hit a wall and got dead tired.

"Overall, it was just kind of a weird day, but I'm glad I was able to make an adjustment and it'll give me a chance to work on some things this week."

In his four innings of work against his former team, the A's, McCarthy surrendered two runs on three hits and two walks.

Both runs came in the fourth inning when the right-hander issued a two-out walk, then gave up back-to-back RBI doubles.

"I was really sort of laboring and I couldn't get back in my rhythm," McCarthy said. "In the regular season when that happens you can still turn it into a six- or seven-inning outing, but here in spring, you just get tired quicker. You don't have that game condition to push through."

McCarthy did, however, strike out six batters to up his Spring Training total to 16. He credited most of the swings and misses to his changeup, his newest addition to his pitching repertoire.

"I felt like I was able to do some things I wanted to do with it," he said of the changeup. "I was able to set a lot of guys up with it today. It creates a new layer for me."

The 29-year-old said he threw the pitch at least 10 times Friday and he hopes to at least use it 10 to 15 percent of the time once the regular season begins.

Like McCarthy, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson felt that despite the pitcher's struggles, Friday was good for his progress moving forward.

"It's a good game for him to get under his belt," Gibson said. "It'll push him a little bit for his next start."

Worth noting

• Wade Miley, who missed his last scheduled start with what Gibson called "dead arm", threw a bullpen session Friday and is poised to make his return to game action on Tuesday.

Gibson said after Friday's tie against the A's that he believes Miley will pitch in the "B" game on Tuesday so the team can control his outing more. Miley has logged four innings in camp so far, allowing three runs on three hits.

• The D-backs returned Rule 5 draftee Starling Peralta to the Cubs on Friday. The right-hander appeared in four games for the club this spring, surrendering seven runs on five hits over three innings.

Arizona paid the Cubs $50,000 to select Peralta, and he would've needed to stay in the big leagues for the entire 2013 season. Instead, he was offered back to Chicago for $25,000.

• In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, the D-backs will wear special green caps and use green bases on Sunday when the club hosts the Dodgers at 1:10 p.m. MST at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

The sold-out game will also feature three Irish bands from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Home Plate Gate, Left Field Gate and Right Field Gate.

• Nursing a sore left knee, Jason Kubel hasn't played since Tuesday and won't be in the lineup again until Sunday. Gibson said he isn't concerned about the knee, he just wants to give Kubel some time to rest before the calendar moves closer to Opening Day.

Quote to note
"He's got a much better arm motion and speed on it, plus it has a really good break. It's coming out almost like half curveball and half changeup. It's got a big loop and downward action. It's certainly a third pitch for him that'll work good for him." -- Gibson, on Josh Collmenter mixing in his curveball more