Nelson Figueroa of the Astros delivers a pitch against the Mets on August 27 2010 at Citi Field. - Jim McIsaac
A number of players off the 40-man roster will be present at Salt River Fields, when the Diamondbacks report next month. In this series, we'll be taking a look at the less familiar names you might see. We start with some of the pitchers who'll be there.
Although a Georgia native, Bonine moved to Arizona as a youth, and attended Mountain Ridge High School in Deer Valley [which also produced former Pirates outfielder, Chris Duffy]. Eddie went to Glendale Community College, and was drafted by the D-backs in the 20th round. He didn't sign, going to Washington State instead; after that, the Padres picked up in the 23rd round of the 2003 draft. He moved to Detroit in the 2005 Rule 5 draft, and made his major-league debut for them in 2008, going 2-1 in five starts, with a 5.40 ERA. All told, he has appeared in 62 games (10 starts), putting up a 4.74 ERA.
Factoid to drop in: He missed all of this season due to Tommy John surgery in June 2011.
We talked about Figueroa a little while back, when it was announced he would be on the Puerto Rican roster for the World Baseball Classic in March - though he was actually born in Brooklyn. A Mets draft choice, he was traded to Arizona along with Bernard Gilkey in 1998, and left us in the Curt Schilling deal; since then, he has played all over the world. Perhaps most notably, he was named MVP of the 2007 Taiwan Series CPBL championship series, starting three games and winning them all for the Uni-President Lions. He spent last season in the AL East, at various times being part of the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees
Factoid to drop in: Bit of an electronics wizard, a hobby Figueroa picked up from his father, an electrician.
Initially signed by the Angels as an outfielder, Madrigal was converted to a pitcher in 2006. He is perhaps infamous, for being the only reliever in baseball history to allow six runs or more and take the loss in his major-league debut. That came in an 18-7 defeat to the Yankees while playing for Texas in which he retired only one batter., but despite the 162.00 ERA, he pitched well enough the rest of the way, with a 3.28 ERA in 30 other appearances. I'm not quite sure where he has been of late: Madrigal appeared in just two relief appearances for the Yankees Triple-A affiliate in Trenton,. and didn't appear in the minors last season.
Factoid to drop in: Auctioned off his 2010 AL Championship ring last year. The final price was $12,438.
Differs from the others in that he has always been a Diamondback, being a draft pick that wasn't added to the 40-man roster this winter (no need - he was only selected in 2011, during the 4th round). The right-hander spent last year working out of the Mobile bullpen, putting up a 3.51 ERA in 42 games, with 16 saves and a K:BB ratio of 27:16. He has a fastball reported in the mid-90's to go along with a spike curve, and played in the Arizona Fall League. Marshall didn't walk a batter in 12.1 innings of work there, allowing three earned runs, and seems to have enjoyed it, saying "My arm is feeling as good as it has all year... I am learning with every experience."
Factoid to drop in: Was also invited to camp last spring, but was smacked around, allowing 13 hits over four innings. Here's Evan speaking at that time: