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Everybody wins! Arizona Diamondbacks kick off spring training

(Twitter Photo)

SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY, Ariz. — The Arizona Diamondbacks worked out for the first time in 2016 on Thursday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Derrick Hall, team president and CEO, said expectations were high for this season after the youngest team in baseball improved its win total from 2014 by 15 games.

“We addressed our issues and that was looking at starting pitching and to bring in Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Tyler Clippard,” Hall said.

“We think we’ve the holes and hopefully we’ll pick up right where we left off last year. The message I heard all offseason was get us some pitching. The fans know we’ve done all we can to improve this team and should excited as we are.”

The D-backs’ Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa said the National League West was a tough division. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were expected to be good and the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies were improving, he said.

“We believe we’ll be able to play with anybody,” La Russa said. “Our goal is to get off to a good start and be in contention in September and see if we can get to October.”

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

La Russa said this year’s squad reminded him of the Kansas City Royals, the defending World Series champions.

“We look like Kansas City in the way we run the bases and play defense. We’re young, with most of our players in their twenties.

“We needed pitching and ownership supported us. Zack Greinke is as good as anybody out there. We have talent and we have to show it but we’ve got guys who work and they want it. That’s a powerful combination,” La Russa said.

Fans can get an up close look at the players Saturday at the D-backs Fan Fest. The event at Chase Field was scheduled to run from noon to 4 p.m.

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