Spring Training Battles To Watch
Springtime is not all sunshine and flowers. You guys in Arizona know this obviously considering Spring Training has started and it snowed! I am not sure you guys heard or posted on social media about it enough.
Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Spring isn’t all sunshine when it comes to battling for a spot on a 25-man roster for players, either.
The D’backs starting lineup is pretty much set heading into 2013 meaning the battles will be in the back end of the rotation, the bullpen and on the bench.
Miguel Montero, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Chad Pennington, Gerardo Parra, Jason Kubel, Adam Eaton, Cody Ross and Willie Bloomquist are locks along with Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Wade Miley in the rotation. In the bullpen, JJ Putz, Heath Bell, David Hernandez and Brad Ziegler are also pretty much assured spots.
With the D’backs likely to carry 12 pitchers that leaves one starter, three reliever spots and three bench spots open.
Starting spot battle: Tyler Skaggs vs. Randall Delgado
Delgado was acquired in the Justin Upton trade along with Martin Prado. Delgado is probably projected for a back-end starter for his career and has solid stretches throughout his career so far. He owns a career 3.95 ERA over 127.2 innings in the majors. Skaggs has been a top-tier pitching prospect for a few years and appears to be ready to pitch a full season in the bigs. Skaggs owns a career 2.98 minor-league ERA. He did struggle a bit in his brief appearance with the D’backs last season with a 5.83 ERA over 29.1 innings.
Three bullpen spots: Patrick Corbin vs. Tony Sipp vs. Matt Reynolds vs. Josh Collmenter
Sipp and Reynolds have each spent quality time in the majors with solid results. Sipp has thrown 220.1 innings over the past four seasons with a 3.68 ERA and Reynolds has thrown 126 innings over the past three seasons with a 3.93 ERA. Reynolds and Sipp, both lefties, are solid bets to make the bullpen.
That leaves the final spot for Corbin and Collmenter to battle it out. Corbin is also a leftie and was effective over long stretches in the beginning of last season but then struggled down the stretch. Collmenter on the other hand, struggled mightily early and then picked it up as the season progressed. Edge: Collmenter
Back up catcher – Wil Nieves vs. Rod Barajas
Nieves was productive in limited time with both the D’backs and Rockies last season, hitting .301/.330/.410 over 89 plate appearances. On the other hand, Barajas was pretty awful in 321 plate appearances for the Pirates in 2012. He hit .206/.283/.343 for the season.
With an outfielder and a utility player in Bloomquist on the bench already, the D’backs have some flexibility in the two remaining bench spots: Eric Chavez vs. John McDonald vs. Tony Campana vs. A.J. Pollock vs. Matthew Davidson
Edge: Chavez and McDonald