MESA — The D-backs took another step closer in solidifying their Opening Day roster Monday morning.
Ahead of Arizona’s 7-1 loss to the the Chicago Cubs, skipper Torey Lovullo announced reliever Chris Devenski will be one of the bullpen arms.
“He’s had a terrific spring. We were thrilled too as we walked through this process, getting on a Zoom call with him,” Lovullo said Monday. “Thrilled to have him into our organization. He talked about being ready.
“He talked about earning and impressing us and he went out and executed and did everything he said he was gonna do. That stands up pretty tall for me and it was a good conversation for all of us today.”
This spring, Devenski made seven scoreless appearances (7.0 IP) with a 1.00 WHIP. He allowed just four hits and three walks, while striking out seven. Opposing batters have averaged .167 against the reliever.
Devenski joined the D-backs as a non-roster invitee this spring training after spending the past five seasons with the Houston Astros. During that span, Devenski was named an All-Star once (2017).
He’s now a part of a bullpen group that appears to be trending toward a closer-by-committee situation to at least start the regular season.
“I told him I’m not going to identify a closer. I don’t feel the need to do that right now. We’re just gonna have some backend guys that we’re gonna matchup and get through the game to win the game,” Lovullo said. “He’s on board with that idea. … It’s been great getting to know him and watching him go out with an incredible attitude of how he wants to go out and compete each and every night.
“I don’t want to take that away from him and I don’t want to bottle him up and put him in one spot at one time for right now. He’s going to be on the backend helping us win baseball games.”
The D-backs have just one remaining roster spot with the addition of Devenski.
Nick Ahmed on track for Opening Day
It’s been a get-right spring for shortstop Nick Ahmed.
Having dealt with right knee issues for a good portion of the back-half of spring training, as well as a personal issue, Lovullo still feels Ahmed will be ready to take the field come Opening Day against the San Diego Padres.
“Nick’s doing fine. He had a nice work day today. I saw him out, he’s running through a couple of our simple fundamentals, just being in the right place,” Lovullo said Monday. “Mostly standing, being around the team. Feeling good. He’s going to ramp up some baseball activity today and tomorrow.”
“I think our lineup’s going to be strong no matter what,” Lovullo added. “I’m planning on penciling Nick’s name into that Opening Day lineup.”
In nine spring training games (25 plate appearances), the shortstop recorded four hits, two RBIs, a stolen base, four walks and five runs scored. He struck out five times and averaged .190 to go along with a .320 OBP.