Picking an Opening Day roster before the team has even reported for Spring Training is nearly impossible, but it's an exercise that really makes you take a hard look at the roster and what decisions will need to be made over the next seven weeks. Will the D-backs carry three
Picking an Opening Day roster before the team has even reported for Spring Training is nearly impossible, but it's an exercise that really makes you take a hard look at the roster and what decisions will need to be made over the next seven weeks. Will the D-backs carry three catchers again? If they do, it will make for some tough calls. The rotation appears set, but the bullpen, well that's another story. Here's a too-early look at what things could look like come March 28 at Dodger Stadium.
Catcher (3):Carson Kelly, Alex Avila, John Ryan Murphy
The D-backs carried three catchers in each of the past two seasons under this regime. It might be more difficult this year given the way the roster is constructed, but for now, we'll leave it this way.
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First base (1): Jake Lamb
It's possible that the D-backs could carry Christian Walker as a backup here if they don't carry three catchers. Wilmer Flores could be also serve as a backup option.
Second base (1): Flores
With Ketel Marte moving to center, the position belongs to Flores.
Third base (1): Eduardo Escobar
Escobar's flexibility allows him to also play second, or possibly even first base, if needed.
Shortstop (1): Nick Ahmed
Ahmed is coming off his best season both at the plate and in the field. Marte could serve as a backup, but more than likely, it will be whoever they keep as the utility infielder that fills that role.
Outfield (5): David Peralta, Marte, Steven Souza Jr., Jarrod Dyson, Sócrates Brito
The starters are set, and Dyson, if healthy, will be on the Opening Day roster. Brito is a player that the D-backs like; he can play center and is out of options, so he'll get a long look.
Utility (1): Kelby Tomlinson
Ildemaro Vargas is a possibility here, as is Tim Locastro, but they both have Minor League options.
Starting pitchers (5): Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Zack Godley, Luke Weaver, Merrill Kelly
Barring injury, this is probably the rotation that appears to be all but set going into camp.
Relief pitchers (7): Archie Bradley, Yoshihisa Hirano, Greg Holland, T.J. McFarland, Andrew Chafin, Marc Rzepczynski, Yoan Lopez
The bullpen is always the hardest to predict heading into camp. There always seems to be one of two players that jump out and make the team. The final two spots will likely go down to the wire. Matt Koch and Silvino Bracho are out of Minor League options, so they'll get a long look, and Nick Green, a Rule 5 Draft pick, will have to be kept or offered back to the Yankees.
Here's a quick review of the first projection of what the D-backs' 25-man roster could look like come Opening Day:
John Ryan Murphy
Steven Souza Jr.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.