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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Roster Report 2009-03-28


Arizona Diamondbacks Roster Report 2009-03-28


Arizona Diamondbacks Roster Report 2009-03-28
The Diamondbacks got good news on one front during spring training when OF Eric Byrnes hit well and showed no signs of the hamstring injuries that bothered him all of last season and caused him to miss the second half. He still will begin the season as the fourth outfielder, but with health will see a lot of time. RHP Max Scherzer entered spring training with a cranky right shoulder, and he will be pushed back from his first scheduled start.

ROTATION:

1. RHP Brandon Webb

2. RHP Dan Haren

3. LHP Doug Davis

4, RHP Jon Garland

5. RHP Max Scherzer

ROTATION ANALYSIS: Webb and Haren were arguably the best 1-2 punch in the National League last season, combining for 38 victories and 47 quality starts. Each was the NL Pitcher of the Month once, and Webb became the second pitcher since 1920 to win his first nine starts.

Davis and newcomer Garland have been dependable, durable veterans in the past, although Davis missed six weeks last season after having a cancerous thyroid removed in April. Garland saw his strikeout total dip for the fourth consecutive year with the Angels last season.

Scherzer showed a power arm in spot duty as a rookie last season. While he will start in the No. 5 spot in the rotation, his ceiling is much higher. There is not much veteran depth at the top minor league levels.

BULLPEN:

RHP Chad Qualls (closer)

RHP Tony Pena

RHP Jon Rauch

LHP Scott Schoeneweis

RHP Juan Gutierrez

RHP Yusmeiro Petit

RHP Leo Rosales

BULLPEN ANALYSIS: Qualls took the closer's job from departed free agent Brandon Lyon in the September stretch run and converted all seven save opportunities down the stretch. He has a plus sinker and can induce groundball after groundball, a reason the D-backs used him in the seventh and eighth innings early last season for his ability to clean up potential rallies.

Pena has been up and down his last two seasons, and Rauch blew up in his final month with D-backs after starting strong following his mid-summer acquisition from Washington. Questions remain about their ability to replace underappreciated Lyon and hard-thrower Juan Cruz, although RHP Tom Gordon should help when he returns in May.

Schoeneweis is a proven specialist, but the jury is out on the rest of the relievers, although Petit has pitched well as a spot starter the last two seasons. Gutierrez has not had the results his arm and stuff would suggest.

LINEUP:

1. 2B Felipe Lopez

2. CF Chris Young

3. SS Stephen Drew

4. LF Conor Jackson

5. RF Justin Upton

6. 1B Chad Tracy

7. 3B Mark Reynolds

8. C Chris Snyder

LINEUP ANALYSIS: The D-backs have not had a prototype leadoff hitter in their 11 seasons, although Tony Womack did provide speed at the top in his time. They will try newcomer Lopez, at least at the start of the season. Drew had his career year while hitting leadoff the second half of 2008, but the D-backs want him in a more productive spot this season.

The D-backs will have production throughout the order, but it is a somewhat miscast crew. Young has the speed to hit second but strikes out too much. Jackson hits for average, not so much for power. Upton has the most upside but has shown it only in bunches.

Reynolds has light-tower power, but he also chases pitches. He set a major league record with 204 strikeouts last season.

RESERVES:

C Miguel Montero

1B Tony Clark

INF Augie Ojeda

OF Eric Byrnes

C James Skelton

RESERVES ANALYSIS: Clark provides help in several areas. Not only is he a proven veteran who accepts his role -- primary pinch hitter/occasional first baseman -- but also he is a positive clubhouse presence for the still-young group of position players.

Byrnes is the backup at all three outfield positions and will play against left-handed pitchers when the D-backs want to give Chad Tracy a break and put Conor Jackson at first base. Versatile Ojeda was the only NL infielder to play at least 30 games at second base, shortstop and third base last season, and he brings a strong glove to all three spots.

Montero is a terrific hitter and could be used more in a pinch-hit role if Skelton, a Rule 5 acquisition, makes the team. Skelton was battling with 1B Josh Whitesell and INF Ryan Roberts for the final roster spot.

ROOKIE WATCH: The D-backs pushed guys like Justin Upton and Max Scherzer through the system so quickly that their rookies have been on the field for some time now. LHP Daniel Schlereth, Arizona's first-round draft pick in 2008, could be fast-tracked to help the bullpen. He throws in the 90s and has been raised as a reliever. OF Gerardo Parra is Diamondbacks' best position-player prospect, although his road is blocked. RHP Jarrod Parker, the team's 2007 first-round draft pick out of high school, is still years away.

MEDICAL WATCH:

RHP Tom Gordon (right elbow surgery in October 2008) did not throw off a mound until a month into spring training. He is not expected back in the major leagues until early May.

RHP Max Scherzer (shoulder stiffness) took a cortisone shot before spring training started and was delayed in his spring work. He is expected to make his first regular season in the second week of April because the D-backs have an off day the first week.

OF Eric Byrnes (hamstrings) did not play his first spring training game until mid-March, but he reported no ill effects.

LHP Doug Davis (sore left triceps) missed two spring starts, but he was expected to be ready for the start of the season.

SS Stephen Drew (abdominal strain) left the March 21 game. He was expected to return to action in late March.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 28, 2009

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