Diamondbacks 3 Major Questions regarding roster of hitters
There are so many questions with this Diamondbacks roster. However, there are three major ones that have time clocks on them.
1. Who is the starting Third Baseman?
This is perhaps the most obvious, but also most unnerving question that needs answering. It's clear that prospects Drew Ellis and Buddy Kennedy are not ready for the workload yet. Meanwhile, the team has yet to trade for or sign an outside player to play third. This truly leaves it up to Josh Rojas, Josh VanMeter, and a couple of other outside-looking guys. Josh Rojas has the bat perhaps, but his glove would make me nervous having him man the hot corner. Nick Ahmed could play third beautifully, but his bat is not even close to that of a third baseman. VanMeter doesn't have the glove or bat, at least not yet. Thus, this could become a black hole position if no one grabs it and runs.
2. Where does Pavin Smith play? Who plays first?
This one is a double question since it involves Pavin Smith. Smith struggled defensively in right field. His bat plays there, but his glove doesn't. At least it doesn't yet. Despite that, it's not like he can just move to first base where Christian Walker plays. Walker has a superior glove at first than Smith and hits nearly as well. Thus, you can't say you're making an upgrade at that spot. Smith can DH but shouldn't since we have top prospect Seth Beer there. Trust me, you don't want Beer out in the field if you can help it. Thus, we are left with right field. Yet, is that the best spot for Pavin? Time will only tell and hopefully, Spring Training helps make it clear it is.
3. Does Alek Thomas make the Opening Day Roster?
This one affects two parties, Alek Thomas, and the Diamondbacks' future. Alek Thomas is currently projected to go to Triple-AAA for more work. However, it's unsure if he has much to prove there. Thus, if he shows out this Spring Training, he might earn the spot as the starting centerfielder. One issue though is then where does Daulton Varsho play? Regardless, Thomas will be up in the MLB later this year. It just depends on when and where does he play. It's a good problem to have when you have two quality young centerfielders. On the other hand, you don't want to stunt their growth by not having them play every day. Of course, one can't ignore the service time implications if the Dbacks hold Thomas down long enough that he wouldn't win Rookie of the Year to obtain a full year of service time. This would enable them to have him for 7 years. However, it runs the risk of really creating a tough relationship with Thomas and could prevent a long-term deal from getting done.
No matter what, this is a tricky situation for the team and players to be in. Someone will be unhappy. I know one thing. I'm super excited to see both Thomas and Varsho in the same MLB lineup someday soon!
That concludes our Spring Training Roster look-through. Keep on the watch for more to come!