Most of the names on the roster will be well-known, so we'll skip over those. Instead, we'll take a look at the players who did not appear significantly for the Diamondbacks at the major-league level last year, if at all. They might be prospects, or they might have been with another team and enjoying their first spring as an Arizona player.
Yeah, this is not exactly the most "Who's he?" of the players. Merely the biggest free-agent signing, by a very, very long way in franchise history, will be showing up at Salt River for the first time. Greinke has opted to stick with the #21 he had on the Dodgers, rather than switching back to #23 - he had that with the Royals and Angels, but in AZ, it belonged to Oscar Hernandez. Sure that was nothing a Rolex couldn't have sorted out. Fun fact. He's a bit of a stickler for personal hygiene, according to Molly Knight's book, The Best Team Money Can Buy: he called out his team-mates for "doing the number two and not washing your hands."
One of the prospects received in the Mark Trumbo trade - yes, we got more than just Welington Castillo back! - we're hoping he'll live up to the standards of his Uncle Vlad. Despite a good 2014 campaign, including an appearance in the Futures Game, Gabby now has some catching up to do, having struggled with the move to Double-A last year. Between the two clubs he played with at that level, he hit .222 with seven HR and a K:BB ratio of 108:23. However, he is young, having only turned 22 a month ago. That said, his uncle made his major league debut at age 21 and hit .360 in Double-A that year, so genetics appear to be leaving him short.
Hermann has a shot at the backup catcher role, with previous incumbent Jarrod Saltalamacchia now in Detroit, and Tuffy Gosewisch's health remaining uncertain for Opening Day. Herrmann was received from the Twins in a trade for slugging 1B/OF Daniel Palka, and appeared in 45 games for the Twins last year, though with a career OPS+ of 46, he's firmly in the Tuffy mold of catchers. Right now, he'd probably be battling with Hernandez for that spot on the roster. But ti would not surprise me if the team opt to pick up someone else, as they did last season, signing Gerald Laird in February.
You may remember Hessler's name, but if the details have been struck from your memory, it's probably not a bad thing, because he had one of the worst starts to a major-league career of any D-backs pitcher ever. Over his first nine games, he had a 16.88 ERA; more than six and a half runs worse than the next highest (Lance Cormier's 10.20 from 2004). While he was actually decent enough the rest of the way - a 2.57 ERA over 10 appearances - you only get one chance to make a first impression, and the SnakePit's impression of Hessler was rather less than favorable. He'll have some digging to do, simply to get back to derisive loathing.
Another trade chip this is the player whom we get from the Mets in exchange for Addison Reed. Though Reed pitched well enough for the Mets, I'd say that "not having him pitch for us" makes this trade a win, even if Koch's subsequent career follows the trajectory of an agoraphobic gopher. Still, I for one welcome our new Matt Kochs, simply for not being Addison Reed, and that likely gives Koch a bit of a free pass in terms of his upcoming performances. He made precisely one start for Mobile after the trade, but that was a thoroughly impressive 7.1 innings of shutout, two-hit ball.
Difficult though it may be to believe, Leone is someone who made Hessler's numbers look good. Another Seattle expat, he appeared three times for the D-backs, allowing three earned runs in all but one of those appearances, giving him an ERA for the season of 14.73. It appears the team viewed him as a reclamation project; Leone was very good in 2014, putting up a 2.17 ERA for the Mariners. However, he had lost it well before the trade took him to the Diamondbacks, and neither those three relief appearances, nor his minor-league numbers, looked very impressive. However, he just turned 24 and the "stuff" appeared potentially potent.
It probably isn't much of a stretch to call Locante the forgotten man on the 40-man roster, or at least the one you would likely name no sooner then the mid-30's. Of the eight names here, he is the only one who has never played for the D-backs and never been traded for or signed as a free-agent. He was an 11th round pick by the team in 2011, and the left-handed reliever has quietly beavered away since. He has always been kinda old for his level, and did not fare well in the jump to Double-A either, putting up a 5.79 ERA over 44 appearances with Mobile. I guess we're testing the hypothesis that left-handed relievers are the new market inefficiency or something.
Last, but certainly not least in the round-up of the new/lesser-known names on the 40-man roster, we find our new hotness, courtesy of the Atlanta Braves. I'm keen to see what Miller brings to the table. Based on the comments when he was introduced to the media, he seems to be aware that pitching is (and probably always will be) a work in progress, perpetually requiring honing to counter adjustments made by hitters. He and Greinke are both going to be a very significant part of determining the future of the franchise, and it's a future that starts next month, when pitchers and catchers report to Salt River Fields.
T minus 36 days, and counting!