Diamondbacks News

Arizona Diamondbacks: Several relievers on the bubble

By Mark Brown
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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Andrew Chafin (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Andrew Chafin (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The rest

If Lovullo decides to go with J. J. Hoover and Tom Wilhelmsen, along with closer Fernando Rodney and lefty set-up Andrew Chafin, that represents four relievers. Add the five starters, and that leaves three spots open the bullpen. That is, should Lovullo decided to go with 12 pitchers.

One candidate could be Tyler Jones, who was a Rule 5 selection from the New York Yankees organization. Should Jones fail to make the 25-man roster, he must be returned to the Yankees.

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So far this spring, Jones has done little to hasten his stay in the desert. Appearing in eight games through contests of this past Tuesday, he was 0-1 and a 4.05 ERA.

Another veteran getting a long look is left-hander Brian Matusz, who pitched in parts of seven seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. The issue with Matusz is injury, and the native of Grand Junction, CO. landed twice on the disabled list last season.

After released by the O’s, he signed with the Chicago Cubs., but released at the end of last season.  Then, Matusz signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks to a minor-league contract just before the start of spring training.

In games through Tuesday, Matusz appeared in seven games with a 6.75 ERA.

Also, right-hander Erik Davis remains in the mix. After released by the Washington organization, Davis was signed as a free agent last November. Successful to this point in pre-season games, Davis sported a 2.57 ERA for his first seven appearances this spring.

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Right-hander Kevin Jepsen also remains in camp. A 32-year-old who split last season between the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays, Jepsen has been slowed by injury and appeared in only three games this spring. Though an effective reliever with the Twins in 2015, his road back to the majors appears rocky at best.

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