TEMPE, Ariz. -- From the moment he knew he won a spot in D-backs camp as part of MLB Network's "The Next Knuckler," Josh Booty has wanted to accomplish one thing.
"I want to show them it's not just a gimmick," Booty said.
The right-hander appears to be close to appearing in a Cactus League game following an impressive bullpen session Friday morning.
"He gets it now," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He had a good fastball today, too. Threw the ball well."
Booty has dropped 12 pounds since the show stopped filming a month ago, and after being on a throwing program and working with the D-backs trainers, his arm is starting to bounce back as well.
"My arm is feeling so much better than it did two weeks ago," Booty said. "My arm feels live again. I'm just trying to get myself in shape, and when I go out there I'm just going to try and throw the knuckleball for strikes.
"It was good today. They said it was my best session yet. I know when I get out there in a game, the tempo and adrenaline is going to speed up. And knuckleballers have to slow everything down. It's the exact opposite of my personality. I'm just trying to relax and throw it."
Gregorius excited to be throwing again after injury
TEMPE, Ariz. -- It was raining Friday morning, but Didi Gregorius had a smile on his face as he headed outside to play catch.
After not throwing for two-plus months due to a sore elbow, the D-backs shortstop was not about to let any opportunity slip by, no matter the weather.
Gregorius has been playing catch for about a week now, and stepped it up from 60 feet to 75 feet Friday. He remains on target to be able to play in the field later this month.
"He's several weeks away from throwing the ball across the diamond," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Gregorius did see his first game action Thursday and went 1-for-4 as the designated hitter.
"It felt a little different, because I hadn't been in a game in a while and it was just my second time seeing live pitching," Gregorius said. "For me, it went great to get my first couple at-bats of the spring. It's something I'd been looking forward to."
• With the start of Friday's game against the Angels in doubt until the last minute due to rain, the D-backs wound up starting reliever Brad Ziegler instead of Randall Delgado. Ziegler got in an inning of work.
• Delgado meanwhile, got through 1 2/3 innings before the game was postponed.
After scuffling in his first two appearances this spring, Delgado was able to take the progress he made in his between-start bullpen sessions into the game.
"I couldn't finish the inning, but it's all right; I put in practice what I've been [working on]," Delgado said. "I felt better today. I am getting more confidence and that's important. That's why I felt better today."
• Brandon McCarthy is scheduled to start for the D-backs on Saturday against the White Sox at Salt River Fields.