No one said you had to like it. Roster cuts during Spring Training aren’t the most interesting story line happening in team camps across Florida and Arizona, but they are a necessary evil, and are as inevitable as hits and outs are.
Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon Beachy recently talked to NBC Sports baseball writer Craig Calcaterra the subject of expectations and “story-lines.”
"“We have expectations internally, in this room, and none of those expectations have to do with those outside factors. The business stuff, the money stuff, the controversy, that’s all for you guys.”"
Beachy talked about something that most in the media already know: what players are thinking about versus what the media is discussing is far different. At the end of the day, Beachy is right: the story-lines are for the reporters, and every piece of information especially in March is news.
After making nine roster moves to reduce the number of players in camp to 59, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced 13 additional moves on Monday in a press release posted on the team’s website.
General Manager and Senior Vice President Dave Stewart announced the news.
Reassigned to Minor League Camp:
Kyle Drabek, RHP
Daniel Gibson, LHP
Adam Loewen, LHP
Scott Rice, LHP
Braden Shipley, RHP
Tim Stauffer, RHP
Todd Glaesmann, OF
Kyle Jensen, 1B
Jack Reinheimer, SS
Carlos Rivero, 3B
Mark Thomas, C
Major League experience stands out among this parcel of cuts, but their aren’t really any major surprises considering none of these guys above were expected to earn a spot on the major-league roster this season.
Several names on this list jump out. Shortstop Jack Reinheimer, listed as the D-backs No. 14 prospect by MLB.com, was acquired from the Mariners in the Mark Trumbo trade last June. To be completely honest, I am surprised that Reinheimer was sent back to minors camp so early. When the Snakes acquired the 23-year-old, his value was thought to be a solid depth option that can play multiple positions.
In just a half-season in Arizona’s system, the perception of his ceiling changed quickly. In 76 games for the Mobile BayBears, the Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate, he hit .265 with 4 home runs and 26 RBI’s. His slugging percentage (.371), and his OPS (.726) were both higher compared to his first-half spent in the Mariners system.
Based on what I have seen, he is a smart baserunner with the potential to steal many bases. His range in the infield will allow him to stick at shortstop, but he can also handle second. In 18 at-bats this spring, Reinheimer hit .444 with one home run, four RBI’s, six runs scored, and eight hits. If I were Chip Hale and the D-backs’ coaching staff I would have wanted to see more of him. His projected ETA is 2016, and he could be a nice depth piece.
Reinheimer appeared for the D-backs in the Arizona Fall League.
Braden Shipley also stands out on this list. With Aaron Blair in the Braves organization after being traded to acquire Shelby Miller, Shipley not Archie Bradley, is considered the No.1 overall prospect in the Diamondbacks system.
A first-round pick in 2013, the University of Nevada product had a nice 2015 season with Mobile finishing 9-11 with a 3.50 ERA in 27 starts across 156.7 innings pitched. Shipley struck out 118, allowed 147 hits, and opposing batters hit just .249. His second-half was especially impressive, and he features three above-average pitches: a fastball that can touch 96 mph, a change up thrown from the same arm slot, and a swing-and-miss power curve-ball.
Shipley still needs to work on his mechanics to be a complete pitcher, and he wasn’t in contention for a rotation spot. If he can continue his second-half momentum, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him up later this year potentially helping the D-backs chase a division title and a pennant.
Pitchers Tim Stauffer, Adam Loewen, and Kyle Drabek were among the former big leaguers moved. Cody Hall was optioned to Triple-A Reno, and Matt Koch, the D-backs No. 19 prospect, was sent back to Double-A. Koch was acquired in the Addison Reed trade with the Mets, and made one appearance last season.
After this wave, the Diamondbacks camp roster sits at 46 players.