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Summary of Recent Comments by GM Josh Byrnes | February
Earlier this week, Jim McLennan of the AZ Snakepit had an excellent interview with the Diamondbacks' General Manager Josh Byrnes. Some of the highlights from the interview include: 1) Starting Rotation - As expected, the front three of the starting rotation will be Webb, Haren, and EJackson. Byrnes mentioned five pitchers who will be competing for the final two slots - Ian Kennedy, Billy Buckner, Kevin Mulvey, Rodrigo Lopez, and Bryan Augenstein. It looks like Aaron Heilman will be used in the Bullpen and is not expected to compete for a starting spot. 2) NL West - Although the entire NL West is fairly balanced, Byrnes feels that the Rockies are the biggest threat, based on their youth and balance of offense, defense, and pitching. He mentions the Dodgers as the other main threat, but has them slightly below the Rockies due to some attrition in the offseason. 3) Opening Day Roster - Byrnes mentions that most of the 2010 opening day roster is set. He specifically mentioned four players where "we want to see what we've got" - Tony Abreu, Cole Gillespie, Rusty Ryal, and Brandon Allen. So it appears that these four need to have a strong spring training to make the team, while Ryan Roberts, Gerardo Parra, Augie Ojeda, and Chris Snyder seem to have four bench spots locked up. 4) Run Scoring - Byrnes feels that this year's team "should score runs, as opposed to could score runs." He speculates the offense should move up to 770-800 runs scored from last year's 720. 5) Comeback Seasons - Byrnes feels that Chris Snyder and Conor Jackson should both be back at full strength, and that Chris Young's strong 2009 finish was very encouraging for 2010. Byrnes compares Young to Mike Cameron and Franklin Gutierrez at the same ages. 6) The Trade - Byrnes states again that although Max Scherzer is a unique talent with great make-up, there are still questions about his pitching efficiency and durability. The Diamondbacks feel that Edwin Jackson has reached a level that Scherzer may or may not reach, and that Ian Kennedy will give the team six years of solid starting pitching.