Brandon Medders has high hopes for 2008 with the Arizona Diamondbacks after taking a step back last year.
Medders posted a combined 9-4 record in 2005 and 2006, appearing in 87 games.
Last season, Medders started with the D’backs but was sent down to Tucson following a 1-2 start with a 4.30 ERA. He was yielding a hit per inning at the time.
“I had that stint last year where I struggled, but I don’t think there was anything I needed to change,” Medders said. “It was just getting my head back to focusing more. It was nothing mechanically I needed to change . . . keeping the ball down and getting ahead of hitters – that would be the only thing.
Medders looked impressive in his first outing Thursday with a 1-2-3 eighth inning against Colorado in the D’backs’ 5-5 tie with the Rockies.
“Last year my confidence got lost for a while,” Medders said. “That’s the worst thing that can happen to a pitcher is to lose his confidence. Any pitcher that you see in professional baseball has done something to get to that level.
“They have a talent that others don’t. You have to keep your confidence and know you have to trust yourself.”
Medders, 28, comes in behind Juan Cruz, Doug Slaten, Tony Peña, Chad Qualls, Brandon Lyon, Edgar Gonzalez and Dustin Nippert on the depth chart in the battle for a bullpen job.
“I hope there is a spot for me,” Medders said. “This is the organization I want to be with – great guys and better players. Everything about this organization makes me want to be here.
“I could be playing for 29 other teams. My main concern is to make this big league squad. If I do everything I can to make this team, I will, or have other options.”
• White Sox vs. Diamondbacks, 1:05 p.m., Tucson Electric Park
• Rockies vs. Mexican National Team, 1:05 p.m., Hi Corbett Field