The Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day game is on Thursday, April 7th! It's going to be at Chase Field as the Dbacks take on the San Diego Padres. However, we have 28 spots on this roster that need to be filled! It's been announced that Madison Bumgarner will start Opening Day. That means there are still 27 spots, not including the guys like Nick Ahmed and Josh Rojas that will start the season on the IL.
Why is the roster 28 players instead of 26? There's a simple answer for that. The lockout. Due to Spring Training being shortened and rushed, teams asked if they could include extra pitchers on the staff to manage their starter's innings early on. Not everyone is Max Scherzer and able to pitch 6 innings first start of ST. Thus, until May, teams are allowed to have 28 players and an unlimited amount of pitchers. Perhaps we see them have 28 pitchers? It's possible, but not likely. Most teams will approach 14/15 pitchers as, during the 26-man roster season, only 13 spots can go to pitchers.
Let's begin with the Projected Pitchers on the Diamondbacks Roster!
Madison Bumgarner: That's an obvious one since he's starting Opening Day.
Merrill Kelly: Fresh off that extension, he should line up to start game 2.
Luke Weaver: Might move to bullpen, but will get another shot in rotation. (Update, will start season in bullpen, Castellanos or Martin should jump into rotation).
Zac Gallen: Would push for Opening Day if not for issues at the start of ST. Might start the year on 10-day IL to finish preparing for the season and not push his arm.
Zach Davies: Recently signed to an MLB deal to be the team's #5 pitcher.
Mark Melancon: Signed to a big 2-year deal to be the team's closer.
Ian Kennedy: Signed to be the set-up man for Mark Melancon.
Caleb Smith: Long-reliever with the power to strike out tons of batters.
J.B. Wendelken: Middle reliever on fire this spring with 5.1 great innings.
Joe Mantiply: Reliable middle innings reliever returns for another go-round.
Oliver Perez: In his final MLB season, I expect him to be the lefty specialist in AZ.
Noe Ramirez: Another solid middle-innings reliever that performed well last year.
Sean Poppen: Veteran lefty that has impressed this spring with 6 shutout innings.
Humberto Castellanos: A pitcher that can start/relieve and has had an impressive spring so far with 6 innings of 1-run ball.
Corbin Martin: Another pitcher who can start/relieve that's a former top prospect will get his first extended big-league action.
Now, let's swing on over to the catchers and infielders!