Outlook: Miley trying to outperform his peripherals

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- This is not at all the way Wade Miley wanted to make the traveling party to Australia, nor is it how he wanted to get his first start of the 2014 regular season.

But the fact of the matter now is that Miley will throw the first pitch of the regular season when he takes the ball for the first game of the Opening Series in Sydney, Australia, next weekend against the Dodgers.

He replaces fellow left-hander Patrick Corbin, who sustained a partial tear to his ulnar collateral ligament and will stay in the U.S. to get a second opinion on the diagnosis and determine for certain whether he needs Tommy John surgery.

"Obviously you never want to see anything like that happen with any of your teammates," Miley said. "It's unfortunate. He's a big part of this team. … It's just something you've got to deal with, and you've got to move on."

For Miley, the first step in that direction was to get moving on preparations for a trip halfway around the world. Miley had been slated to be one of three D-backs starters not to travel, but that all changed with the sudden nature of Corbin's injury, so Miley was not exactly prepared.

"Zero percent packed," he said Sunday.

The 27-year-old entering his third full season in the Majors got the word Saturday night that Corbin would not make the trip, so his wife, Katy, spent much of the night making arrangements so both could make the voyage.

"She's been a trouper," he said. "She's up moving around at 3 o'clock this morning while I was trying to sleep, getting a few things together. She's still getting things together right now. She'll be on Australian sleep time right out of the gate."

This spring, Miley has put together good results while building up his arm for the long season ahead. Through three Cactus League starts, he had allowed just three runs (two earned) on 12 hits, striking out 11 while walking three.

Miley had been scheduled to keep sharp in Minor League games while the team was Down Under, but he will now draw the first regular-season assignment.

"We just thought he was the best choice, just as far as the way he's throwing the ball, and we feel like he's built up enough," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Battling excitement, Cahill gets in final work

Outlook: Low strikeout rate limits Cahill's upside

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Like most of those in D-backs camp on Sunday, Trevor Cahill had not gotten a lot of sleep the night before, and he arrived at camp excited about getting on a plane shortly after the game to travel to Australia.

But Cahill had one more Cactus League start, so he had to make sure he shifted into game mode for at least a couple of hours more.

"I was up all night packing, and coming in here everybody's thinking about it," Cahill said of the anticipation heading into the Opening Series against the Dodgers in Sydney. "It's tough, but I needed to get my work in, and I had some stuff I had to work on.

"I haven't been throwing that great. The mental focus was the tough part, because you're looking ahead and everybody else is looking ahead, but I was able to get what I wanted out of it."

The main thing Cahill did in his five-inning start was to get his changeup working a little bit better. It is his No. 2 pitch after his sinker, and he had been struggling with it this spring. He allowed a homer to Khris Davis on it Sunday, but he said that he got a better feel for the off-speed pitch afterward.

That was also among the things D-backs manager Kirk Gibson wanted to see out of Cahill, who had been asked to work on a few aspects of his game this spring.

"I thought with his sinker he was much more consistent, and his changeup is coming; he threw more balls on both sides of the plate," Gibson said.

And, most important of all, Cahill came out of Sunday's start, a 6-5 D-backs win against the Brewers, right knee from his previous start and a sore spot on his throwing arm from being hit by a pitch in a bunting drill two days ago.

D-backs announce roster for Australia trip

Meggie chats with D-backs outfielder Pollock

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After one unfortunate change and a few final considerations, the D-backs put together a 31-man traveling party for the trip to Australia just prior to their departure Sunday.

The club headed Down Under with 16 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders and five outfielders. From that group, the D-backs will announce the 25-man roster for the Opening Series before the start of the first game of the regular season on Saturday.

After Patrick Corbin sustained an elbow injury that knocked him out of the first start, Wade Miley took his place on the traveling roster and will take the ball for the opener. Corbin will be getting a second opinion on the diagnosis of a partial ligament tear, while veteran starters Bronson Arroyo and Brandon McCarthy will keep working out in Arizona.

Australia native Ryan Rowland-Smith is on the trip to pitch for his country's national team in an exhibition against the D-backs, so the club is bringing 31 players, compared with 30 the Dodgers will bring.

Here's the traveling party for the D-backs:

Pitchers (16): Archie Bradley, Charles Brewer, Trevor Cahill, Josh Collmenter, Randall Delgado, Will Harris, David Hernandez, Wade Miley, Oliver Perez, J.J. Putz, Addison Reed, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Bo Schultz, Zeke Spruill, Joe Thatcher, Brad Ziegler.

Catchers (3): Henry Blanco, Tuffy Gosewisch, Miguel Montero.

Infielders (7): Eric Chavez, Paul Goldschmidt, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hill, Chris Owings, Cliff Pennington, Martin Prado.

Outfielders (5): Tony Campana, Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock, Mark Trumbo, Matt Tuiasosopo.

In addition to finalizing the Australia roster, the D-backs also made six roster moves Sunday, optioning left-hander Joe Paterson to Triple-A Reno, reassigning to Minor League camp outfielder Shelley Duncan, infielders Mike Jacobs and Andy Marte, and catcher Blake Lalli, and outrighting right-hander Marcos Mateo, returning him to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

Short hops

Cody Ross made his Cactus League debut as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning Sunday, striking out against Brewers left-hander Will Smith. Ross has been recovering from a dislocated hip sustained in August, and he had been building toward the season in Minor League games to this point.

Gibson said the club was hoping to see Ross back in the outfield in a Minor League game within the week. "He is making progress, and he's running harder on a daily basis," Gibson said.

• A swarm of bees caused two delays early in Sunday's game, a phenomenon that has happened before at Salt River Fields and that also happened at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Sunday. And who knew Gibson was such a fan of those little buzzers?

"Somebody's sweet out there, huh?" Gibson said. "Actually, you know, bees are good. People say they don't like bees, but environmentally it's important to see that they're still around today, serving a purpose."

• The crowd of 12,871 fans for Sunday's game surpassed the previous Salt River Fields record of 12,864, set last March 24 vs. the Mariners.