SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Josh Collmenter is going back to basics.
After compiling a 14.14 ERA in his first three spring starts, the Arizona right-hander is working on improving command of his fastball.
The D-backs asked Collmenter to improve his curveball, so as to give him an added weapon to go with his fastball and changeup. Up until this point in the spring, he had focused on his offspeed stuff.
"I guess our concern has been that maybe he worked too much on that, and he's lost the feel for his fastball a little bit," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's always been outstanding at location, you guys know that, and he hasn't had that yet."
Collmenter missed a start earlier this spring with tightness in his forearm, but he said that has not been a factor in his struggles.
"Everything keys off my fastball," he said. "If my fastball is down in the zone, my curveball and changeup look a lot better."
Gibson reiterated that Collmenter will be in the rotation to begin the season.
"He's our fifth starter," Gibson said. "If he's not healthy, then we'll have a change. He tells me he's healthy. We'll watch."
While Collmenter knows his spot in the rotation does not depend on his performance, he still would like to have better results.
"You just want to make better pitches," Collmenter said. "The big thing for me is just consistency. I'm not going to be a guy that throws pitches by guys and strikes a lot of guys out, so I just have to make better pitches. The ones I've made down in the zone, I've gotten good results. It's just a matter of consistently making those."
Kubel held out of lineup with sore quad
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs left fielder Jason Kubel was pulled from the lineup before Wednesday afternoon's game against the Brewers with soreness in his right quadriceps muscle.
"He came in today, he's a little sore so we'll take it easy with him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Kubel said he first felt some tightness in the quad while running the bases Sunday in chilly, wet conditions.
"I remember feeling something there, but then it went away pretty quick after that," Kubel said. "Didn't feel it at all Monday, didn't feel it up until [Tuesday's] first groundout. Heading down the line I kind of felt the tightness, and it stuck around."
The D-backs are off Thursday, so Kubel will get at least a two-day break. Gibson said it was possible he would hold Kubel out of the lineup Friday night.
"We'll just see how he comes out of the off-day," Gibson said.
Kubel started off slowly at the plate this spring, but he has hit better of late.
"I wouldn't necessarily call it a groove, I've been feeling better," Kubel said of his hitting. "Hopefully in a couple of days I'll still feel like I'm getting better."
Gibson: Bauer late getting warmed up Tuesday
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs top prospect Trevor Bauer's warmup routine that includes long toss nearly from foul pole to foul pole apparently took a little too much time in advance of his start Tuesday.
"First of all, he was late getting warmed up," manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's something he learned with his routine. That was on him."
"My warmup took a little bit longer than it normally does, so I was a little bit behind," Bauer said. "I probably should have started earlier, but you learn. I'll be more conscious of it and definitely err on the side of having a little bit extra time, than being too short."
Bauer allowed two runs on six hits over three innings against the Giants, the poorest of his four starts this spring.
"He learned some things, I think, about the Giants' lineup yesterday," Gibson said. "He threw [Pablo] Sandoval an offspeed pitch down out over the plate, and he just hooked it with a guy on first base. That's what good hitters do. I think he probably learned a little lesson on that. I think every time he's pitched this year he's been electric in his own way, he's been electric in his performance and he's been electric in what he's learned every time."
While Bauer is still getting a handle on facing big league hitters, there is one aspect of his game that cannot be questioned.
"We're finding out his mindset is very elite," Gibson said. "It really is."
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.