Outlook: Low strikeout rate limits Cahill's upside

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Trevor Cahill was able to get his outing in before the rain ended the D-backs' game against the Brewers on Saturday with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Cahill, who was making his first start of the spring, allowed one run on two hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"I think he was pretty pumped up," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was pretty excited. Probably ball was up a little bit, pretty good secondary stuff -- overall, he got his innings in and that was the most important part."

Cahill struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.

"My curveball was working, I was throwing it for a strike when I had to, which was a good sign," Cahill said. "My changeup was really bad until I kind of get the feel for it again. It's usually one of the tougher pitches to get the hang of."

The start of the game was delayed by rain for 36 minutes, but the D-backs wanted to play so Cahill would be able to get his work in.

Prior to Saturday, Cahill had only thrown simulated games and live batting-practice sessions.

"You can't really prepare by throwing live BPs with no fielders and you throw 15 [pitches] and get out of there," Cahill said. "It's not the same as having to get three outs. So it was definitely nice to get the first one out of the way."

Bradley's spring debut washed out by rain

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rain that wreaked havoc on the Cactus League's Saturday-afternoon schedule also washed out the night game between the Cubs and D-backs at Salt River Fields.

The game was canceled about an hour before the scheduled first pitch, and it will not be made up.

Top prospect Archie Bradley was scheduled to make his first Cactus League start for the D-backs, while Edwin Jackson was set to pitch for the Cubs.

There was no immediate word on how either club will adjust its pitching rotation to get in work for the starters, as well as relievers, who were scheduled to pitch.

Arizona's afternoon game against the Brewers was called after 4 1/2 innings, following a 36-minute rain delay before the game. Chicago canceled its afternoon game against the Giants at its new spring ballpark.

Travis Wood, who was scheduled to start the afternoon game for the Cubs, threw two innings in a simulated game at the Cubs' complex to make up for the lost game.

The Cubs also will play a "B" game against the Angels on Monday to make up for the lost innings.

D-backs relievers who did not make it into the afternoon game, including Joe Thatcher, pitched to hitters in the covered batting cages.

Gosewisch injury opens backup catcher battle

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tuffy Gosewisch has been out with a calf injury, which could impact the battle for the D-backs' backup catching spot.

Gosewisch and Henry Blanco were the main competitors for the spot heading into camp, but general manager Kevin Towers said that non-roster invites Bobby Wilson and Blake Lalli have played their way into the conversation.

"I think Bobby Wilson, he's got experience at the big league level," Towers said. "He's probably going to get a little more playing time now that Tuffy's got a calf strain [and is] probably going to be out for a while. It's pretty much open for that backup spot."

Gosewisch said he does not believe the injury is serious and he expects to be back in action by early next week.

Wilson, 30, has appeared in 191 big leagues games, all with the Angels.

Lalli, who is also 30, has appeared in 22 Major League games with the Cubs and Brewers. Lalli was signed this past offseason as a Minor League free agent.

If Blanco does not win the backup job, he is expected to be named the team's assistant hitting coach.

Worth noting

• The D-backs pitchers who were scheduled to pitch Saturday afternoon but did not because the game was called after 4 1/3 innings got their work in by throwing in the team's covered batting cages.

• Defense will play a large role in whether Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings wins the starting shortstop job, according to general manager Kevin Towers.

"To me, that position more than anything I think it's probably defense No. 1," Towers said. "Defense is a big part of our game, so if I had to add weight to it, it's probably the better defender, who do we think is going to be the better defender. Just making the consistent, the routine plays, that's what we want to see."

• Through their first four games, D-backs starters had allowed six earned runs in 18 innings for a 3.00 ERA.

"All the starters that I've seen have thrown the ball well," Towers said. "That's the part I'm probably most pleased with."

• Gibson reiterated Saturday that he is considering splitting up Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo in the lineup.

Goldschmidt will all but certainly hit third, and Gibson might choose to slide Trumbo to fifth or sixth so that there would be runners on base for Trumbo.

"One of the thoughts is to split them up a little bit, because you would think Goldy would clean a lot of the runs up, so you want to have multiple opportunities," Gibson said.