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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread: 3/13 vs. Cubs

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It was just announced that Zach Duke won't even throw again for four weeks, due to to broken bones in his pitching hand after getting hit by a line-drive in yesterday's game. Obviously, it sucks, and I wish Zach all the best for his recovery from this freak injury. But I suspect I am not the only one whose first thought on hearing the news was, "Well, that's one less decision needed about the Opening Day roster?" But will it be Aaron Heilman or Barry Enright who get the call as Duke's replacement? Enright has the better raw numbers, and using him would not create another hole (the bullpen in Heilman's case), so I would be leaning that way. 

Today, we face half of the Cubs as SRF@TS, which will no doubt see ten gazillion people crammed in there as a result, plus the countless millions more tuning in on Fox Sports Arizona. Because the Cubs are the engine of the Cactus League, after all [insert image of dead Cubbie being whacked with a stick here]. Line-up after the jump.

  1. Stephen Drew  SS
  2. Kelly Johnson 2B
  3. Justin Upton  RF
  4. Russell Branyan 1B
  5. Chris Young  CF
  6. Brandon Allen  LF
  7. Ryan Roberts 3B
  8. Henry Blanco  C
  9. Daniel Hudson  RHP

Interesting to see this line-up, with Branyan at first, and Allen patrolling left-field. Could this be a foreshadowing for the eventual dismissal, down the road, of Xavier Nady? We would have to eat his deal, but Nick Piecoro reported that our outfielder "still hasn’t really come around," and his line has been an anemic .226/.250/.387, a .637 OPS Especially if his throwing arm is not good enough for the outfield, what is his value to the team? With Branyan make a strong case to be the bench slugger, it still seems that there are more questions than answers - and, certainly, more players than spots available, as we head in to the second-half of spring.

So, how would you construct the roster? We'll be talking about that more tomorrow, since it's an off-day, but thoughts and comments are welcome as we go through today's game.