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

MESA, Ariz. -- Bronson Arroyo allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over three innings in his D-backs debut, a 5-2 loss the Cubs on Thursday.

"About as it usually does," Arroyo said when asked how he felt. "A little bit like a fish out of water. You're trying to get comfortable. You're trying to figure some things out. It felt pretty average, not horrible, not great. And you're trying to throw strikes and just get a feel for your body get your legs underneath you, see how that extra stride length feels and making sure things aren't hurting you or killing you too bad and just try to build on that."

Another key was allowing starting catcher Miguel Montero to get a firsthand look at Arroyo's pitches.

An example of Montero's unfamiliarity with Arroyo came with two outs in the third when Montero was unable to hang on to a strike-three breaking ball. That allowed Luis Valbuena to reach first, and he scored one batter later on Starlin Castro's double to the right-center-field gap.

"It was a bit about him seeing my style," Arroyo said. "That strike three that got away, he hadn't seen my breaking ball be that sweepy. So those are the type of things that he needs to see so that doesn't happen more often."

Arroyo is slightly behind the other Arizona starters, because he signed as a free agent a few days after camp opened. While Brandon McCarthy was able to throw four innings and 52 pitches in Wednesday's opener, Arroyo threw 43 pitches over his three.

"I felt like I was pretty tired there in that last inning, especially after those last two hitters," Arroyo said.

Ross hopes to be playing by mid-March

Outlook: Ross looking to bounce back from 2013

MESA, Ariz. -- Cody Ross is taking it one day at a time during his rehab from a fractured and dislocated right hip. But with as good as he's feeling right now, the D-backs outfielder is hoping he can get into an exhibition game around March 12.

"We'll just have to see how it goes, but right now it feels great," Ross said.

Ross, who has been running with about 80 percent effort, will need to be able to slide before he can see game action.

"I really don't think sliding will be an issue," Ross said, despite the fact that the injury occurred on the hip that he slides on.

If Ross makes his target date, he would have a decent chance of being on the active roster when the team begins the regular season March 22 against the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia.

"It's up in the air right now," Ross said. "But it's a good goal."

Worth noting

Gerardo Parra was hit twice by pitches Thursday, once in the lower back/hip area and the second in the buttocks.

"I'm sure he's a little sore," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We'll check and see how he's doing. I think he's supposed to play tomorrow, but we may amend that."

• Third baseman Martin Prado went 2-for-3 in Wednesday's opening game and 3-for-4 on Thursday.

"Just to watch him, the way he works, the way his routine is in the morning and his BPs, he takes it into games," Gibson said. "He's capable of winning the batting title. I mean he really, really is. He's much more comfortable this year you can tell and he's swinging extremely well right now."

• The D-backs will have seven games this spring that will utilize the replay challenge system that is set to be implemented this year.

During the first two games Gibson has gone over in his mind what plays he would and would not challenge and so far the only play he would have challenged was Henry Blanco's groundout in the seventh inning Wednesday.

The games that will utilize the replay challenge system are: March 3 vs. Angels, March 5 vs. Royals, March 8 at Angels, March 9 vs. Padres, March 12 at Rockies and March 28-29 vs. Cubs.