PHOENIX -- The D-backs have yet to see the real Bronson Arroyo, the right-hander said on Friday night.
That's what he hopes to show his new ballclub and the fans at Chase Field in Saturday's 5:10 p.m. MT start against the Phillies and their ace left-hander Cliff Lee.
"I've just started to feel better, like myself, during the last few days," Arroyo said. "Now I just have to go out on the mound and get guys out."
Arroyo, the former member of the Reds and Red Sox, signed a two-year, $23.5 million free agent contract with the D-backs just after camp opened and promptly hurt his back, missing most of Spring Training. He hurried back to open the season and thus far has a very un-Arroyo-like 9.50 ERA and 1-2 record to show for his four starts. He was blasted for 14 runs and 18 hits in his last two starts against the Mets and Cubs, both losses.
Meanwhile, Lee is back on the beam and is coming off eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball in a win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles this past Monday night.
With the retirement of Roy Hallady and Cole Hamels just getting going after coming off the disabled list, Lee is the unquestionable leader of the staff. He's pitched like it, notching a 3-2 record, 3.09 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in 35 innings.
"We played together in Cleveland for a long time," Phillies pitcher Roberto Hernandez said. "He throws a lot of strikes and I try to learn from what he does every day."
D-backs: Ross should be back in lineup
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson opted to keep Cody Ross out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game Friday night as he rebounds from last year's serious hip injury and surgery. But Gibson said Ross should be available on Saturday night.
"The thing with Cody, I gave him another day off today," Gibson said. "He's been pushing hard to get back in the lineup. I just wanted to give him a couple of days off. I think you guys know what he can do if he gets hot. I know that he needs to play to get there. At the same time, I still need to give him time to recover from how far he's come."
Since coming off the disabled list, Ross has played in six games, starting the first five. So far, he's just 1-for-22, his only hit a single on Wednesday during the 100th birthday game at Wrigley Field.
Phillies: Lee has had full command
Lee has only two walks in 35 innings pitched this season, and the Philadelphia left-hander has allowed only four earned runs since his first start of the season on March 31.
Dating back to last season, Lee has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of his last 10 appearances. He has walked only three in that span and is 4-1 against the Diamondbacks in his career, including working seven shutout innings in a start last season.
"His command is outstanding right now. He's got a ton of stuff. He pitches with a lot of confidence. He attacks the hitters. He's fun to watch," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He also works really quickly and keeps the defense on their toes. It's all about command and deception and outstanding location and he's got good movement on the fastball."
• Bob Gebhard, D-backs vice president and special assistant was honored on Friday night by Minnesota State University-Mankato with their Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, presented to graduates who have achieved a high level in their chosen professions.
• Shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley have started 1,088 games together as a double-play combination, the most among all active combinations in Major League Baseball.
• Arizona's Trevor Cahill has adapted well to his new role in the bullpen, making three scoreless appearances totaling six innings with one win.
• Pitcher Cole Hamels, who won't pitch in the Arizona series, is one win away from 100 in his career.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.