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Arizona Diamondbacks: Several relievers on the bubble

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Mar 9, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Dominican Republic pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) throws a pitch in the eighth inning against Canada during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Marlins Park. Dominican Republic won 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Dominican Republic pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) throws a pitch in the eighth inning against Canada during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Marlins Park. Dominican Republic won 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /
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Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks Fernando Rodney pitching for the Dominican republic in recent World Baseball Classic. (Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports) /

With less than two weeks remaining in spring training, several questions remain about the bullpen for the Arizona Diamondbacks

Despite the reluctance of manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks to name four of his five starters late in spring training, there appears even more careful judgment about relievers.

Only closer Fernando Rodney and omnibus reliever Andrew Chafin appear to have jobs, at this point, in the bullpen. If Lovullo decides to go with 12 pitchers or 13 pitchers, that will dictate his bench strength.

While Lovullo told Venom Strikes he likes a 25-man roster and is not for adding to that number, he still must deal with the demands of a reliever who will be called upon on consecutive days.

Of relievers currently on Lovullo’s radar screen, there is not much separation. Shoulder stiffness with Jake Barrett will likely dictate one of Lovullo’s personnel decisions. With Rodney as the closer, the pre-season projection of Barrett as the Diamondbacks’ set-up reliever was a given, but that changed.

Barrett has not appeared in a spring game and could land on the DL by opening day. Ditto for left-hander Steve Hathaway, who has not appeared in a spring game.

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