D-backs' Gorgen Out To Show He Belongs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.For a team that is attempting to rebuild from the back end of the bullpen forward, righthander Matt Gorgen seems a perfect fit.

Acquired by the Diamondbacks from the Rays for Chad Qualls at the 2010 trade deadline, Gorgen has been a solid, late-inning reliever in his three minor league seasons. While he never opened a season as his club's designated closer, he always seemed to finish there.

"Being a 16th rounder, I feel like I had something to prove, and I wanted to show people I was just as good as anybody else they could put out there, and that I could compete," said Gorgen, selected by the Rays in 2008 after three seasons as the closer for California.

"As far as my numbers go, I just try to go out and get wins and most of all get saves. I know if I am going out there and doing well, our team is winning."

The 5-foot-10, 212-pound Gorgen posted big numbers in his three seasons with the Rays, converting 54 of 61 save opportunities for short-season Hudson Valley, high Class A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery. He held opponents to a composite .167 average in 108 appearances, while notching 159 strikeouts and 55 walks in 142 innings.

Gorgen, 24, missed time before being acquired by Arizona last summer because of right shoulder tendinitis, and the Diamondbacks opted to shut him down after the trade in order to heal the inflammation. He reported to spring training healthy. It seemed to help. Gorgen threw his normal bullpen session on the first day of spring training and seems to be ready for anything.

Gorgen's fastball tops out in the low 90s, and he complements that with a power slider as part of a four-pitch mix.

"You can take that closer mentality into the seventh, eighth inning. Either way for me, as long as I'm going out there and competing," Gorgen said. "I am going to give you my best stuff, and if you hit it, you hit it. But I'm going to do the best I can not to let you."

Snake Bites

• Roland Hemond, a special assistant to Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall, will be the second recipient of the Hall of Fame's Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to baseball during a seven-decade career in which he has served as general manager of the White Sox (1970-85) and Orioles (1988-96). The award will be presented during the Hall of Fame ceremonies on July 23. Hemond was hired to help the D-backs through their expansion years (1996-2000), and rejoined the team in 2007.

• First baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit an estimated 435-foot home run in his second game of the spring that sent the Diamondbacks into extra innings against the Rockies. He finished 2-for-3 and added a double. Manager Kirk Gibson had not ruled him out of contention for the first-base job.