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Lopez Named 4th Starter / Opening Day Roster Update from A.J. Hinch


Credit to Wailord for the original FanShot & Mr. McLennan for mentioning the bulk of this in his recent recap, but I thought this deserved a little more attention (and was something I could do instead of studying for my Finance exam tomorrow night).  From, the Diamondbacks have told Rodrigo Lopez that he has earned the fourth starter spot on the 25-man Roster on Opening Day after underwhelming performances by Billy Buckner and Kevin Mulvey, who were each optioned to AAA-Reno, recently against the Padres.  Aside from the pitching staff being sorted out, there were several other corresponding moves/notes detailed in the article:

- 1B(/OF?) Brandon Allen and OF Cole Gillespie were optioned to Reno.

- C/1B Sean Coughlin was reassigned to minor-league camp.

- Manager A.J. Hinch told OF Drew Macias, 1B/OF Jeff Bailey, and RP T.J. Beam were told that they will not be on the Opening Day roster, although they will remain in major-league camp until then.

- Hinch also said that Chad Qualls, Aaron Heilman, Bob Howry, Juan Gutierrez, and, "to a lesser extent" (whatever that means), Blaine Boyer would make the team.

So what is left?  According to the article:

- Zach Kroenke, Jordan Norberto, Leo Rosales, Esmerling Vasquez and Clay Zavada are battling for three spots in the bullpen.  My speculation (and likely the general consensus) is that one will go to Kroenke or Norberto, with the other two being divided between the remaining three guys.  Further, Rosales likely has a spot since he is out of options and has performed well.

- There are two bench spots remaining, with the three players competing for them: UTIL Rusty Ryal, IF Tony Abreu, and IF Ryan Roberts.  Seeing Roberts' name is surprising despite his Spring struggles since he performed so well for us last season, although Hinch said that "guys are pushing him for that spot" and "it's important to play well."  However, he does finish the quote with "Spring Training evaluations are only worth so much.  He did a great job for us last year."  Take what you will from that.  Oddly, though, Augie Ojeda's name was not mentioned in the piece, despite the fact that he appears to be very much on the trade market, and an Ojeda move could allow for all three (or another pitcher) to remain on the team.