This morning Diamondbacks General Manager Dave Stewart announced several roster moves that cut the number of players in spring camp to 38.
Pitchers Allen Webster, Matt Reynolds, and A.J. Schugel were optioned to Triple-A Reno. Meanwhile, outfielder Nick Buss, infielder Walter Ibarra, and left-hander Dan Runzler were reassigned to minor league camp.
The Diamondbacks are trying to find the right balance between starters and relievers, and given the depth at both positions, these moves aren’t very surprising.
Later in the day the Diamondbacks reassigned Yoan Lopez to minor league camp which put the number of players in camp at 37.
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He finished the spring with an awful 8.18 ERA, and a 2.09 WHIP with just six strikeouts in 11 innings.
The bottom line is that the other starters were better than him, and he is going to have to fine tune his consistency in Reno.
If one of the five starters were to go down with injury, he would be a prime candidate to step in and fill the void, and if I learned anything from last season, there is a really good chance that is going to happen at some point.
As you all probably know by now, Reynolds is trying to return from Tommy John surgery performed in September of 2013.
He had a really good spring, but his velocity needs more work, and I think its a good idea to get him more game action in the minors before he comes back to the big leagues. His stay in the minors should be really short, and I think he will help the bullpen sooner rather than later.
Schugel had a nice spring, and I thought he would be a nice addition to the bullpen before the end of March. He struggled with his command giving up 5 runs in one inning against the Brewers on March 24th, and 3 runs in one inning against the Rockies on March 22nd.
He will pitch in the rotation for Reno, and he could be an option for the bullpen down the line if he improves his consistency.
Finally, Lopez was a long shot to make the big league club coming into camp, and his inexperience showed this spring. Spending a lot of time in the minors will be really good for his development. The good thing for Lopez is that the stuff is there.