Trevor Cahill, who allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Giants in his last start, is scheduled to take the mound today against the Dodgers and former D-back Dan Haren in the series finale. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson downplayed the notion that the start is a "make-or-break" outing for Cahill.
"We are all confident Trevor has good stuff and he can apply it," Gibson said. "He's been really good about being open to suggestions. He really hasn't been as consistent as he wants to yet. I think we are doing things a little bit different this year so it's been a lot for him to handle."
The D-backs would like Cahill to simplify his approach on the mound and avoid overanalyzing situations. The club would also like the pitcher to be aware of his pace during games, maintain a good tempo and "throw his pitches with conviction."
"I just have to trust my stuff and see what happens," Cahill said. "If was 6-0 and had a couple of bad starts it would not be as big of a deal, but I had a bad spring and that didn't help, either. It is what is. I'm not going to be a different person. I'm going to continue to work hard and go out there and do my best. It's all I can do."
Haren won 37 games over three seasons pitching for the D-backs. He returned as an opposing pitcher last September with Washington, allowing four hits in seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 win.
Considering he's now a Dodger, Haren isn't expecting a warm welcome from Arizona fans when he opposes Cahill.
"But as I remember when I came back last year, I didn't have to step out of the box and wave to them," he joked. "But I loved playing here. It's a great place to play."
Apparently, Arizona is a great place to practice too. Haren has been the most consistent of the Dodgers starters so far, one of three exempted players that remained in Arizona when the big club opened the season in Australia.
"It was a lot like a break and, for me, it was nice to get off my feet for a few days after a month and a half," said Haren. "You always have some things nagging at you and I just feel like I got a little rest and I felt good when I got my first start."
Dodgers: Elbert's recovery continues
Disabled Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert threw a bullpen session Saturday at Chase Field as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Actually, Elbert has had three elbow operations and an appendectomy since he last pitched for the Dodgers in 2012. But he said he's now throwing at 85 mph, hopes to soon incorporate breaking balls with a tentative target date of June for rehab games.
"My arm feels great," said Elbert.
D-backs: Collmenter starts Monday
Josh Collmenter, who has not started a game for the D-backs since 2012, will make his season debut as starter against the Mets on Monday. He's allowed two runs in eight innings during four appearances out of the bullpen this season.
"You still have to make the same pitches. I've done it plenty of times so it's not a big deal," Collmenter said. "Preparation is pretty much the exact same. Any time I go out there I usually get to throw multiple innings. Now, I just know the exact day I'm going to pitch. It's really the only thing that changes."
Collmenter made 11 starts for the D-backs in 2012 but his best year as a starter came in 2011 when he went 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 24 starts.
"Who knows for how long, but I want to be a part of this rotation and hopefully, get things turned around here," Collmenter said.
• Friday night starter Hyun-Jin Ryu said he felt fine after feeling a "funny bone" nerve sensation in his left elbow fielding a Martin Prado comebacker in the seventh inning.
• The D-backs will host Special Olympic athletes and athletes from the Special Olympics Unified Sports prior to Sunday's game.
• Cahill sports a 2.57 ERA against the Dodgers, his third-lowest against any opponent. He is 6-1 against Los Angeles in 11 career starts.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.