The current 40-man roster for the Arizona Diamondbacks was finalized by the Nov. 18 deadline
Just as familiar faces left the Arizona Diamondbacks in recent weeks, another popular player departed on Nov. 18.
That was the deadline set by Major League Baseball for the club officials to finalize their current 40-man roster. At this point, a few faces which called Chase Field their address for the past season found new homes. In convert with the deadline, the Diamondbacks protected top prospects and several are considered to have a reasonable chance to compete for a spot on the 25-man squad out of spring training next April.
For now, the Diamondbacks look to carry Welington Castillo and Chris Herrmann, two catchers to start next season. That’s because they did not protect popular veteran catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, who was claimed on waivers by the Atlanta Braves.
Also lost from last season’s squad was lefty Edwin Escobar (1-2, 25 appearances, 7.23 ERA), claimed by Cleveland and righty Dominic Leone (0-1, 25 appearances, 6.15 ERA), claimed by Toronto. At the same time, infielder/outfielder Kyle Jensen (.194 in 17 games last season), was designated for assignment. In another move, right-hander Tyler Wagner was claimed by the Texas Rangers.
In finalizing the 40-man roster for now, the Diamondbacks sought to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. Here, Arizona added five to the 40-man roster, and each appear to have an opportunity to compete for major league jobs next spring.
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In keeping lefty Anthony Banda, the Diamondbacks believe this 23-year-old has a legitimate opportunity to compete for a spot in the rotation. Rated as the Diamondbacks’ number two prospect by MLB, Banda participated in the Futures Game this past July in San Diego, and named as the Diamondbacks’ 2016 minor league pitcher-of-the year. Banda compiled a 10-6 mark with a 2.88 ERA in 26 starts between Double AA-Mobile and Triple A-Reno.
In an effort to restructure the bullpen, the Diamondbacks also protected righty Jimmie Sherfy. For the 2016 season, Serfy, at 24-years-old and career leader in saves (40) at the University of Oregon, ranked second in the minors with 30 saves. In 52 games between Advance-A Visalia, Mobile and Reno, he went 3-4 and a 2.77 ERA.
Others protected include Jack Reinheimer and Dawel Lugo, a pair of infielders. For Reno this past summer, Reinheimer, a mid-season Pacific Coast all-star, hit .288 with 28 doubles, seven triples and two homers for the Aces.
In Lugo, the 21-year-old, combined to hit. 311 with 23 doubles, seven triples, 17 homers and 62 RBIs in 127 games between Visalia and Mobile. Playing for Salt River in the recently completed Arizona Fall League, Lugo hit .267 (24-for-60) and named to the East Division all-star squad.
Also placed to the 40-man roster was infielder Ildemaro Vargas, who hit .305 with 28 doubles between Visalia, Mobile and Reno. Vargas was a Southern League mid-season selection and led professional baseball with 70 hits after July 26.