Some surprising moves today from the D-backs, shaking up the likely bullpen
The Arizona Diamondbacks made 3 roster moves and have 36 players in camp.
Optioned to Triple-A Reno:
- RHP Luis Frías
- LHP Kyle Nelson
Reassigned to Minor League camp:
- Jeurys Familia
All three of those were in my projected bullpen just two days ago. Frias had a stinker of an outing yesterday, but had pitched well to that point, and had struck out 11 batters over 7.2 spring innings. I suspect the five walks were perhaps a bigger concern. Familia is even more of a shock, as his pre-season numbers were even better. He had allowed one run over 6.2 innings on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts, and Jeurys appeared to be on his way back to the kind of form he showed before last season. Nelson had been okay – four runs on 11 hits and 2 walks, with 8 K’s in 8.2 innings – but had been excellent in 2022. He posted a 2.19 ERA over 37 innings, and was a rare reliable arm out of the D-backs bullpen last year.
Especially after the loss, likely for months, of Mark Melancon and Corbin Martin, all three players seemed to have a very good chance of an Opening Day spot. But it appears the team is going in a different direction. Cole Sulser was the name most often mentioned in regard to a roster spot, but that still leaves two further spots now open. Carlos Vargas is the only other reliever on the 40-man roster, and he has pitched well: 8.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO. We’re otherwise looking at non-roster invitees, though opening up a spot should not be a problem, with Melancon and/or Martin potential candidates for the 60-day injured list, given the apparent severity of their ailments.
Casting an eye over the list of non-roster candidates, perhaps it could be someone like Ryan Hendrix, who has largely slid under the radar so far. That’s mostly because he was tagged in his first couple of outings, causing him to be written off quickly. But Hendrix has looked rather better since. Over his last five innings, he has allowed one run on one hit, with no walks and nine strikeouts. Weirdly, of the four hits he has given up in spring, three have been home-runs. Beyond that though, I’m not seeing anyone whose numbers jump out off the board at me. I know spring training is about considerably more than that, but… It’ll be interesting to see who does make the cut.
Here’s my best guess for now, with those departing
struck through, and new additions in bold.
- Miguel Castro
- Andrew Chafin
Jeurys Familia Luis Frias
- Kevin Ginkel
- Ryan Hendrix
- Joe Mantiply
- Scott McGough
- Cole Sulser
- Carlos Vargas
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