The Diamondbacks have a new spring home.
The D-backs and Rockies signed a memorandum of understanding with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to occupy a two-team, 140-acre spring training complex that will open in 2011, the Community said in a release Thursday. The teams will play in Tucson in 2010.
"We have had several interested parties and sites, but ultimately found this site to be superb," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said in a prepared statement while withholding further comment until a news conference next week.
The D-backs and Rockies signed a 25-year lease, with options to extend the agreement. The facility will include an 11,000-seat stadium, 12 practice fields, and training facilities and offices for each team.
It will be the first spring training facility built on Native American land, and it will follow by two years the construction of Camelback Ranch, a 141-acre, two-team facility for the Dodgers and White Sox in the western suburb of Glendale, Ariz. HKS Architects, which designed Camelback Ranch, will be in charge of this project, also.
"Our ancestors built ball courts on this land and throughout the valley," Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community president Diane Enos said. "Now we are excited about bringing baseball home to our community. This multipurpose facility is an ideal match for the vision of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community as we develop land along our western commercial corridor."
The facility will be about 10 miles northeast of Scottsdale Stadium and close to Casino Arizona, one of two gambling establishments run by the Salt River Community.
The D-backs shared a spring training facility in Tucson with the White Sox from their inception in 1998 until last season, when the White Sox moved north.
--RHP Jon Garland will pitch the first game of the second half Friday in St. Louis, followed by RHP Dan Haren and RHP Yusmeiro Petit. RHP Dan Haren, who leads the major leagues with a 2.01 ERA and 17 quality starts, was originally scheduled to start Sunday to give him four days of rest after the All-Star Game, but plans were changed after he pitched only one inning in St. Louis. LHP Doug Davis will start the first game of a three-game series in Colorado on Monday.
--SS Stephen Drew ended the first half with 12 hits in his last 29 at-bats (.419) to raise his average to .263, the highest it has been since April 14. Drew had two doubles, three triples, a home run, and four RBI while hitting safely in seven of his last nine games before the break. He also drew seven walks in that stretch.
--The D-backs have spoken to 1B Tony Clark about a position in the organization after he retires. He was released Sunday.
--1B Josh Whitesell was recalled from Class AAA Reno for the third time this season. Whitesell hit .214 with six doubles, nine RBI and 13 walks in 56 at-bats in two previous stints with the D-backs. Whitesell is expected to get at least semi-regular playing time. The move will enable newly acquired 1B Brandon Allen to get regular work at his position in Reno. Allen was obtained from the White Sox for RHP Tony Pena on July 7.
--RHP Esmerling Vasquez recorded his first major league victory Sunday in the D-backs' 10-8 victory over Washington, as did manager A.J. Hinch. It was the 19th time in modern major league history that a manager and a pitcher recorded their first victories in the same game, most recently when Milwaukee manager Dale Sveum and RHP Mark DiFelice paired up in the Brewers' 6-2 victory over the Cubs last Sept. 17, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Hinch received the game ball and has it in his office.
--The D-backs had 80 errors at the break, the second most in the major leagues (Washington, 82) and are on pace to finish with 145, which would be the most in team history. They committed 139 errors while going 51-111 in 2004.
--3B/1B Mark Reynolds leads the major leagues with 15 errors, 10 at third base and five at first base, after leading the major leagues with 35 errors last season, 34 at third. C Miguel Montero has seven errors, tied for the major league lead at his position. OF Justin Upton has seven errors, tied for the major league lead at his position. 2B Felipe Lopez leads NL players at his position with nine errors. Lopez also leads NL second baseman with 101.
DIAMOND STAT: 53 -- Quality starts by the D-backs at the break, second in the major leagues.
QUOTABLE: "All of us need a break from the grind of the season. A breath of fresh air for everybody can rejuvenate our spirits." -- Manager A.J. Hinch, on the four-day break the D-backs will have.
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