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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-42, Tyler Jones

Will our Rule 5 pick stick on the roster?

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 42: Tyler Jones

  • Date of birth: September 5, 1989
  • Ht/Wt: 6’4”, 240 lbs
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: DNP
  • SnakePit Rating: 3.81 [pattern of votes below]

The D-backs have never had a Josh Hamilton, a Johan Santana or a Dan Uggla, a Rule 5 draft pick who has made a real difference. We have had a couple who managed to stick on the roster - albeit in the case of Oscar Hernandez, by spending much of the year on the DL. But he seems to have fallen out of favor with the team, just as his predecessor Joe Paterson did, throwing only 6.1 major-league innings after his compulsory Rule 5 time was over. And for every one of those we have retained, there are multiple ones such as Marcus Mateo and Starling Peralta, returned to their original teams by Arizona, before spring training had even ended. Will Jones be different?

The D-backs are his fourth organization, having been with the Twins and Braves before the Yankees, from whom we picked him in December. He’s now 27, no spring chicken, but even taking into account his age, had a good season at Double-A Trenton, with a 2.17 ERA, and 67 strikeouts to 11 walks in 45.2 innings. And he got better as he went on: over his final 25.2 IP, Jones allowed one run with a K:BB of 41:4, helping propel the Thunder to the Eastern League championship. He seems to have improved, his manager saying, “I saw Tyler when I was roving with the Braves... He had power stuff but I can remember him missing a lot up in the zone because he was trying to overthrow. Last year, I think he became a pitcher. His command was impeccable.”

Of course, there’s a significant difference between getting out Double-A hitters and major-league ones. But a relief pitcher is someone whom it would seem relatively easy to hide at the back end of blowout games, while we establish whether or not it’s worth keeping him around. I think the main issue will be whether or not he makes it onto the Opening Day roster: there is no shortage of open spots in the Arizona bullpen this year, but there is also a tremendous number of candidates. The odds may not be in Tyler’s favor.

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