SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Cody Ross will take another big step on the road to recovery on Monday when he runs in the outfield for the first time since injuring his right hip six months ago.
"It's a big day," Ross said. "It hasn't been easy, but it's all going well and going in the right direction."
Ross, who sustained a fracture and dislocation of his right hip after tumbling on his way to first base in a game against the Mets on Aug. 11, has been cleared for most Spring Training activities and is working out on an anti-gravity treadmill.
The veteran has jogged lightly in the outfield and said he hopes to be sprinting at full speed in a few weeks.
"It's all been positive so far," he said. "I just kind of go on what [the training staff] tells me. It's a stepping stone to get to a point where I am sprinting. It's hard to speculate."
Ross participated in two batting practice sessions on Saturday, including live batting practice against top pitching prospect Archie Bradley, as well as a few defensive drills. He remains hopeful he'll be ready for the team's home opener at Chase Field on March 31.
"He's very close and he's moving around very good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He should be happy about that because we all are. We really didn't know where he would be when he had the injury and how he would respond, but he's been really good."
Bradley makes strong impression in BP session
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Several D-backs pitchers threw live batting practice on Saturday morning, but no one generated the type of buzz created by top pitching prospect Archie Bradley after his 35-pitch session.
Tony Campana, Tuffy Gosewisch, Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, and Mark Trumbo all faced the young right-hander, and few hit the ball hard.
"The first guy I faced today was Trumbo and I've watched him hit home runs for three or four years now," said Bradley, 21. "I'm still a little kid in a baseball uniform. I step in and I see Mark Trumbo and I get excited, get nervous, and everything I love about this game rolled into one. All these guys are good hitters and it's fun to compete and see where your stuff is."
There were several swings and misses against Bradley. There were also plenty of called third strikes.
"He got in there and threw four straight balls to Trumbo and then he decided he was going to paint [the corners]," Ross said. "He threw me three straight pitches and I was out of there. His stuff was coming out really good and he has really late life on his fastball, which is a great thing. His curveball bites really well."
Bradley, the organization's Pitcher of the Year last season, is ranked fifth on MLB.com's list of Top 100 prospects. The club is giving him a chance to earn a spot in the starting rotation that will likely feature Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Bronson Arroyo, Trevor Cahill, and Brandon McCarthy.
Randall Delgado is another option for the rotation, but he could also pitch out of the bullpen.
"[Bradley] threw the ball really well today," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He locates the ball pretty good and his curveball was really good. He worked on his changeup a little bit. There are a lot of things that go into it. He has to be able to field his position, he has to be able to hit, hold his runners and know where to go when backing up and things like that."
Bradley's best days appear to be ahead of him.
"It's still very early in spring, but it felt good to get out there in a game-like atmosphere to see where you are at so far this spring and keep working and improving," Bradley said. "It's so early, I'm probably 60 or 70 percent if I had to put a percentage on it."
Mateo confident he will make D-backs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- What Marcos Mateo lacks in experience, he more than makes up for in confidence.
"I will make this team," Mateo said. "I'm determined to do it."
The D-backs acquired the right-handed reliever from the Cubs during the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft in December. Mateo, 29, went 2-0 with one save and a 1.74 ERA in 24 games with Triple-A Iowa, Double-A Tennessee and Rookie Arizona League Cubs last season.
He went 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 21 innings for the Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter League and later pitched for the Aguilas Cibaenas during the playoffs. Mateo missed all of the 2012 season and part of '13 because of Tommy John surgery.
"If I don't make this team, they have to send me back to Chicago because of Rule 5, but I'm not going back to Chicago," Mateo said. "I have to take advantage of the opportunity here."
The D-backs could offer Mateo back to Chicago or negotiate a trade with the Cubs to keep him in the organization if he does not make the team. The D-backs already feature several veteran right-handed bullpen options.
Mateo went 1-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 44 2/3 innings in 44 relief appearances for the Cubs in parts of the 2010 and '11 seasons.