D-backs announce final roster heading into opener

March 28th, 2023

PHOENIX -- The D-backs set their Opening Day roster Tuesday, announcing that reliever will open the year on the injured list with shoulder fatigue and that right-hander Ryan Hendrix was reassigned to Minor League camp.

Here’s a look at how the final roster shapes up:

Catcher (2): Gabriel Moreno, Jose Herrera
The broken forearm suffered by Carson Kelly threw a wrench into the D-backs catching plans. They had wanted Kelly to get the bulk of the playing time early to allow Moreno, who has just 69 big league at-bats, to ease into things. Now it will be Moreno who gets a lot of playing time with Herrera making the team in a backup role.

First base (1): Christian Walker
With the decision to have Pavin Smith start in the Minor Leagues after he contended for a roster spot, the D-backs don’t have a true backup at first base, however outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has had some experience at the position and Walker seldom takes days off, as evidenced by his 160 games played in 2022.

Second base (1): Ketel Marte
Marte looked sharp at the beginning of camp, showing improved range at second after an offseason working on his agility. The D-backs are counting on him to be more like the 2019 version than the 2022 version because when he is swinging the bat well, he makes a big difference in the lineup.

Third base (2): Josh Rojas, Evan Longoria
Rojas got the majority of his playing time at third last year, and he will see time there and at second, provided he continues to show good work habits defensively, something that concerned manager Torey Lovullo last year. Longoria will see playing time against left-handers and some right-handers, and he could also see time at DH.

Shortstop (2): Nick Ahmed, Geraldo Perdomo
Surgery on his right shoulder cut short Ahmed’s 2022 season and forced Perdomo into action. Ahmed says the shoulder is 100 percent healthy, and the D-backs will work to keep him healthy by making sure Perdomo gets his share of starts at short.

Outfield (5): Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Kyle Lewis
The first four outfielders above were locks heading into camp. Lewis slugged his way onto the roster, beating out Smith, who had a good spring. Most of Lewis’ at-bats will probably come in the designated hitter role against lefties. Gurriel could see some playing time in left against left-handers with Carroll shifting to center, and Gurriel will also get DH at-bats against right-handers.

Rotation (5): Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Madison Bumgarner, Zach Davies, Ryne Nelson
The first four were locked in heading into camp, and Nelson beat out Drey Jameson, Tommy Henry and Brandon Pfaadt for the final spot. Kelly didn’t get much work during the WBC, but looked sharp in his final spring start. Bumgarner has also looked good at times this spring, with his offspeed stuff seemingly much improved.

Bullpen (8): Miguel Castro, Scott McGough, Andrew Chafin, Kevin Ginkel, Kyle Nelson, Cole Sulser, Drey Jameson, Carlos Vargas
There were some surprises in the final week of camp when it came to the bullpen. The first was that the D-backs decided to put Jameson there after he lost out on the No. 5 spot in the rotation rather than sending him to Triple-A. The other came when Mantiply came down with shoulder fatigue. Mantiply’s injury opened the door for the left-handed Nelson to be recalled from Reno, where he had been optioned a few days prior. Vargas displayed electric stuff this spring and earned the final spot over non-roster invite Ryan Hendrix.