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Spring Training Gameday Thread, #23: 3/16 vs. Cubs

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Matt Koch has been very impressive this spring

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Koch has certainly been given a long look this spring: he could potentially end the day on top of the table in terms of innings pitched for the Diamondbacks, coming into today’s start on seven. And mighty impressive they have been: he has yet to allow an earned run, has given up only two hits and has a K:BB ratio of 5:1. Less than a handful of National League pitchers have thrown more spring innings with a zero ERA. A week or so ago, with Merrill Kelly having struggled badly in his first two starts, the door appeared potentially open for a starter’s spot, but Kelly has significantly improved of late. Perhaps Koch’s best route to the Opening Day roster might be as a long reliever, especially with T.J. McFarland looking likely to start the season on the DL. Let’s look at the options there.

For the members of the bullpen are still far from certain, matters not being helped by the loss of Silvino Bracho for the season as well. The dispatch of Jimmie Sherfy to the minors has thinned out the crowd slightly, too. Archie Bradley, Yoshihisa Hirano and Andrew Chafin all appear to be locks. Greg Holland and Rule 5 pick Nick Green seem to have a good shot, and Rubby De La Rosa looks completely reborn this sprimg. so I think they are likely members. Presuming a 7-man pen, this would leave one spot: with McFarland out, Robbie Scott is the only other left-handed reliever currently on the 40-man roster, but Marc Rzepczynski appears to be a popular potential pick.

Still, Koch will get his shot, of that I’ve little doubt. Indeed, I would not be surprised to see him appear before the end of April, simply based on previous bullpen churn. Another good outing today might not get him a spot, but being at the top of the list in Reno is not a bad place to be. You can listen to the game today on ESPN 620 AM.