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Diamondbacks Roster Update - 03/30/10 | March
The Diamondbacks still haven't made many roster moves during spring training, and it looks like the final roster spots may not be settled until Sunday night.  For the 25-man roster, I think 15 players are absolute locks: C (2) - Miguel Montero, Chris Snyder 1B (1) - Adam LaRoche 2B (1) - Kelly Johnson SS (1) - Stephen Drew 3B (1) - Mark Reynolds OF (3) - Justin Upton, Conor Jackson, Chris Young SP (3) - Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy RP (3) - Chad Qualls, Juan Gutierrez, Bob Howry There are 4 more players who are very likely to be on the opening day roster, but still aren't sure things: OF Gerardo Parra, 2B/OF Ryan Roberts, SP Rodrigo Lopez and RP Aaron Heilman. Lopez' 2.35 ERA and 12K/3BB in 15 IP seems to have moved him from a non-roster invitee to the #4 starter. Poor springs by Parra (.222/.263/.241) and Roberts (.149/.255/.271) have put a little bit of doubt into their roster certainty. Heilman has allowed 9 ER and 19 baserunners in 9 IP, but still seems likely to be on the roster. That's a total of 11 position players and 8 pitchers, leaving 6 more spots available. The team is expected to break camp with 12 pitchers, but keeping only 11 is a possibility. Most likely, 2 of the following 5 batters will make the team: Position Players SS Augie Ojeda - considered the team's best defensive player in the middle infield, and hitting .300 in ST 2B Tony Abreu - showed he can play 2B, SS, and 3B this spring, and batting .358 with a .566 SLG OF Cole Gillespie - .283/.306/.522 in ST; played some CF as well as LF 2B Rusty Ryal - team likes his power potential, but has hit only .239 with 11Ks and 1 BB 1B Jeff Bailey - hasn't played much, but has hit .448 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in 29 AB 1B Brandon Allen - has been impressive, going .344/.436/.656 in 32 AB, but needs to be playing every day Out of this group, Ojeda and Abreu seem to be the front-runners. They both can cover 2B, SS, and 3B, while Parra and Roberts can handle the backup OF spots. Roberts can also handle 1B/2B, and Conor Jackson is also an option at 1B if needed. This bench gives the team lots of flexibility, although not much power. Pitchers RHP Billy Buckner - 10.13 ERA, 18K/8BB in 18.2 IP RHP Kevin Mulvey - 5.79 ERA, 5K/7BB in 9.1 IP (plus 9 unearned runs) RHP Blaine Boyer - 7.00 ERA, 3K/3BB in 9 IP RHP Leo Rosales - 4.66 ERA, 7K/0BB and 3 HR in 9.2 IP RHP Esmerling Vasquez - 5.59 ERA, 11K/7BB in 9.2 IP RHP T.J. Beam - 4.76 ERA, 5K/1BB in 5.2 IP LHP Clay Zavada - 8.31 ERA, 8K/8BB in 8.2 IP LHP Jordan Norberto - 1.17 ERA, 6K/6BB in 7.2 IP LHP Zach Kroenke - 7.71 ERA, 2K/2BB in 7.0 IP None of these pitchers has done particularly well during spring training. The D'backs won't need a 5th starter until Monday, April 19th, so it is likely that both Buckner and Mulvey will start the season in AAA, and whoever pitches better there will get the call on the 19th. Boyer had a solid 2.68 ERA last year, but didn't really pitch that well, with a 1.38 WHIP and 18K/12BB in 37 IP. Rosales is more of a multi-inning reliever, and had a 1.15 WHIP and 31K/12BB in 45 IP to go with his 4.76 ERA. Vasquez struck out 45 batters in 53 IP last year, but also walked 29, ending with a 4.42 ERA. Beam has only pitched 5.1 IP, so he doesn't really seem to be in the team's plans. Among the LHP, Zavada has not been as effective as last year's 3.35 ERA (52K/24BB in 51 IP). Norberto struggled in AA last year, and it's hard to believe he's ready for the majors yet. Rule 5 pick Kroenke hasn't pitched well either, but did well at AAA last year with a 1.99 ERA in 72.1 IP. Out of this group, I think the 4 who make the team will be Boyer, Rosales, Zavada, and Kroenke, although Vazquez is still a possibility. Opening Day Roster So the projected 25-Man roster will be: C (2) - Miguel Montero, Chris Snyder 1B (1) - Adam LaRoche 2B (3) - Kelly Johnson, Ryan Roberts, Tony Abreu SS (2) - Stephen Drew, Augie Ojeda 3B (1) - Mark Reynolds OF (4) - Justin Upton, Conor Jackson, Chris Young, Gerardo Parra SP (4) - Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Rodrigo Lopez RP (8) - Chad Qualls, Juan Gutierrez Bob Howry, Aaron Heilman, Blaine Boyer, Leo Rosales, Clay Zavada, and Zach Kroenke Edit: The team just announced that Mulvey, Buckner, Allen, and Gillespie have been optioned to AAA.