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A viewer's guide to Arizona Diamondbacks non-roster invitees, part three

We complete our look at the NRIs this spring - just in time for the first round of cuts, probably!

Utility infielder and emergency pitcher, Danny Werth
Utility infielder and emergency pitcher, Danny Werth
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


Danny Dorn

Truly a career minor-leaguer, this will be Dorn's 10th season in the minors, without as much as a cup of coffee in the show. He turns 31 in July, and has accumulated a total of 3,681 minor-league PAs. Save a brief rehab assignment last season, he has been nowhere but Triple-A since the beginning of 2009, and has over twenty-five hundred PAs there. Be cool to see someone like that get the call, and he might not be a bad option off the bench, since he's left-handed and has some thump. He batted .332/.413/.597 vs. RHP last year. While that was for Reno, in 2013, he hit 25 homers over 137 Triple-A games for Toledo, so it's not all altitude.

Nick Evans

Evans put up a .941 OPS last year, which was the highest by any Diamondback position player, beating Goldie's .938. This didn't stop him from, indeed, being freed by Arizona shortly after the All-Star break last season, but he resigned with the team in November,. So we can look forward to another season of #FreeNickEvans, especially if he has an OPS of 1.054 for Reno, as he did last year. He's probably a little better hitter than Dorn, and is a little younger, having turned 29 in January. He's also a local boy (St Mary's High School!). However, we already have a right-handed first-baseman, who seems to be quite good...

Walter Ibarra

Like Dorn, he'll be entering his 10th minor-league year without reaching the bigs. Mind you, being a shortstop prospect in the Yankees organization is hardly a fast-track to the major-leagues, is it? #Jetered He played for Mexico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and was with the Dodgers last season, splitting time between second-base and shortstop. This winter, he played on the Mexican team, Tomateros de Culiacán, which qualified for the Caribbean World Series, and reached the final where Ibarra scored Mexico's first run, although they went down to Vegueros de Pinar del Río of Cuba, by a margin of 3-2.

Nick Punto

Well, this is awkward. After being signed by the Diamondbacks in January, Punto told the team the following month that he would not be going to camp. Apparently, he isn't actually retiring, but Chip Hale said Punto was "shutting it down for this season." At 37 years old, one wonders quite how true that statement is, after a 14-year career which took Punto through six major-league clubhouses, most recently appearing in 73 games for the Athletics last season. He won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011, and was also part of the 2013 WBC, as a member of the Italian squad. However, he won't be in Arizona's plans this summer...

Jamie Romak

We need more Canadians. The only player in team history born there is Danny Klassen, and he last appeared for the Diamondbacks in 2002. Romak would double that number, having been born in London, Ontario. Took him a long, long time to make the majors too: he was drafted by the Braves in 2003, and debuted with the Dodgers in May 2014, after more than 4,300 minor-league plate-appearances. He got one hit in his time with the team - and he was a bit lucky it stuck in the record books, as the game in Coors Field was called due to rain, that same inning That's still one major-league hit more than 99.999% of us will ever get.

Danny Worth

If we're in need of an emergency pitcher, we could do worse than turn to Worth, who apparently throws a mean knuckleball. He got to showcase it for the Tigers last year, pitching the ninth inning of a blowout loss to the Rangers (after a 13-inning game the previous night). He allowed a hit, but struck out two in an inning - only the second AL position player ever to do that! - and became the first Detroit position player to pitch a frame since 1931. By coincidence, the starter for the Tigers that day (who lasted only 3.1 innings) is still Worth's team-mate, now with the Diamondbacks, Robbie Ray.


Nick Buss

This is kinda odd. says he is Nicholas Gregory Buss. Wikipedia calls him Nicholas "Chili" Buss, the quotes implying it's a nickname. But this article says otherwise: "His dad always wanted unique middle names for his kids. The first three kids had normal middle names. Nick was the last chance for something different. His dad once played in a charity golf tournament with former major leaguer Chili Davis and always liked the name Chili." He has been called both Nick and Chili in his progress through the minors, so please yell both at him this spring, and see to which one he responds better...

Ben Francisco

He's the third of this year's NRIs (along with Blake Bevan and J.C. Ramirez) to have been involved in a trade for Cliff Lee, going to the Phillies with Lee from Cleveland in 2009. Francisco was part of the Philadelphia team that made the post-season that year, and for the next two seasons, but the 33-year-old spent last season playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League. During his brief time (50 PA) with the Yankees in 2013, he famously provoked GM Brian Cashman to say, "In terms of your fan comments section, just say I'm holding onto him to piss everybody off."