GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Chris Young is off to a red-hot start this spring.
The D-backs' center fielder is hitting .500 through the first week of games, including two doubles and a pair of homers.
Young started hitting in November last year, a month earlier than usual, and while working on his swing he found himself holding his hands a bit higher than he had in the past.
"I just have my hands slotted a little different, working on pitch selection and working on being down through the ball [more] than I was last year," Young said. "More of a downward plane just to stay above the ball, you know give me more room for error. Even if I do expand my zone a little bit, if my swing path is better and more consistent, I'll get a lot more hits out of it."
Young is also working to try to hit the ball to all fields rather than becoming too pull-oriented.
"It's not so much hitting the ball the other way, it's hitting the ball where it's pitched," he said. "When I stay through the middle of the field, normally I hit the ball where it's pitched and I just have a better swing path toward it, my hips don't fly open early. I stay on the slider down and away a lot better and if it's off the plate, it's easier to lay off it than it is if my hips are flying open and I'm speeding the ball up."
Young, who was bothered for much of second half with an injured thumb, hit .236 with 20 homers and 71 RBIs in 2011.
Saunders pulled after taking liner off shin
GOODYEAR, Ariz -- On the bright side, Joe Saunders felt like he was throwing the ball well Monday.
The bad news is the D-backs left-hander didn't get to stick around very long, as he was knocked out three batters into the game by a line drive off the side of his left shin.
Saunders, making his second start of the spring, retired the first two Indians batters he faced before Carlos Santana laced a liner right back at him. The veteran took a few practice pitches afterward, but pitching coach Charles Nagy and manager Kirk Gibson decided not to take any chances.
"I probably could have stayed in the game, but it was pretty sore pushing off," Saunders said. "But that's when they said enough's enough. They played the side of being cautious and I can't really fault them for that."
Saunders did not think the injury would be serious enough to cause him to miss his next start, but he will be re-evaluated by the team's medical staff Tuesday.
"If I got hit on the shin bone, I'd be toast -- so fortunate that didn't happen," Saunders said. "My arm felt good. I felt like I was going to throw pretty well today so that's a disappointment. It was coming out good, though, so that's a positive."
Saunders will have precautionary X-rays taken on Tuesday.
Collmenter, Corbin to start Wednesday split-squads
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Josh Collmenter will start Wednesday's split-squad night game against the Rockies while prospect Patrick Corbin will get the nod for the day game against the Padres.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson chose Corbin over Trevor Bauer and Wade Miley for the start. Bauer will pitch in relief in the day game while Miley will do so in the nightcap.
Corbin, who was acquired along with Tyler Skaggs in the deal that sent Dan Haren to the Angels in 2010, was 9-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 26 starts for Double-A Mobile.
"Last year he had a good year down there," Gibson said. "We just feel like we want to give him an opportunity while he's here. We have to make a decision pretty soon on some cuts. He's thrown the ball well, he's really worked diligently in our pregame rotations. Just want to see what he can do."
Gibson said that heading into camp the organization wanted to give Skaggs, Bauer and Corbin all at least one start. Skaggs was going to start the Cactus League opener, but was scratched due to a shoulder issue.
Bauer, meanwhile, has made a pair of starts.
Collmenter was scratched from his scheduled start last week due to forearm tightness, but is apparently healthy after throwing a side session Sunday.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.