The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies share a Scottsdale, Ariz., spring training facility before competing for the National League West title each season.
Traded from Colorado to Arizona in November, St. Charles East alumnus Matt Reynolds offered easy insight about being a reliever on the other side of the complex at Salt River Fields.
“I’m just moving from right field to left field, essentially,” he said.
A few weeks after settling into his new Nashville, Tenn., home with wife Laura, Reynolds, a left-hander, was traded from the only organization he has known. He’s eager to embrace what he calls a “very familiar” move, and the adjustment that comes with joining teammates he once tried to get out.
Reynolds went 3-1 with a 4.40 ERA in 71 appearances last season, walking 17 and striking out 51 in 571⁄3. innings. His career stats include a 5-3 record, 3.93 ERA, 40 walks and 118 strikeouts over 165 appearances since making his Major League debut in August 2010.
Colorado received infielder Dan Wheeler in return for Reynolds in the Nov. 20 deal.
Reynolds since has spoken with Arizona general manager Kevin Towers about resuming a “workhorse” role in the bullpen. He certainly didn’t know he was auditioning then, but showed well with five scoreless appearances against the Diamondbacks last season.
The Diamondbacks and Rockies meet seven times in the first month of the regular season, beginning with an April 19 to 21 weekend series at Reynolds’ former home park, Coors Field.
“We play Arizona in several steps along the way [in the minors], too, so there’s several players that I have played against now for several years,” Reynolds said. “So all that stuff makes it a little more familiar and eases the tension of the move.”
Reynolds took a voluntary trip to New York City the same month he was traded to be part of a preliminary panel discussion regarding the fake-to-third, throw-to-first trick pickoff move. Major League Baseball recently changed the rules, and now calls that maneuver a balk.
Reynolds said there wasn’t much backlash among players, and the ruling seemed symmetrical since lefties can’t pull the not-so-time-honored fake-to-first, throw-to-third move.
Now an alternate player representative for Arizona, Reynolds hopes to lend his voice to future parliamentary discussions as his career progresses.
“You just kind of ask and be a part of that,” he said. “It’s something I was interested in. I wanted to learn a little bit more about what was going on. Finances of baseball. Possible rule changes and all that stuff. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to get out there and learn a little bit about what’s going on in the game.”
Next stop: Scottsdale, and the left-field side of Salt River Fields. Spring training begins next month.
• Kevin Druley is a sports writer for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.