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D-backs land Andriese from TB for 2 prospects

Righty to bolster 'pen as club deals Perez, Shaffer; Delgado DFA'd
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The D-backs acquired an additional arm for the bullpen Wednesday, landing right-hander Matt Andriese from the Rays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Michael Perez and Brian Shaffer.

Andriese, who will turn 29 next month, fits the profile of the typical player general manager Mike Hazen likes to acquire -- one that is under club control going forward.

CHICAGO -- The D-backs acquired an additional arm for the bullpen Wednesday, landing right-hander Matt Andriese from the Rays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Michael Perez and Brian Shaffer.

Andriese, who will turn 29 next month, fits the profile of the typical player general manager Mike Hazen likes to acquire -- one that is under club control going forward.

Andriese is eligible for salary arbitration after this season, so the D-backs will have him under control through 2021.

"It's multiple years of control after this year, so this is both a short- and long-term move for us," Hazen said.

Over his four-year career, Andriese is 19-22 with a 4.30 ERA over 99 games, including 48 starts.

Video: DET@TB: Andriese fans Hicks to K the side in the 3rd

For right now, the D-backs plan to use him in the relief role that was occupied by veteran Randall Delgado, who was designated for assignment after the trade was made.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

"We're not ruling out the opportunity to start in the future, wherever the future may be," Hazen said of Andriese. "But right now, we're looking at the bullpen."

This year, Andriese is 3-4 with a 4.07 ERA in 59 2/3 innings over 27 outings, including four starts.

Video: TB@MIN: Andriese fans Grossman with runners on in 9th

"He's got good stuff," Hazen said. "He's consistently gotten outs, he makes good pitches, he's got some swing-and-miss to his stuff. We've always really liked him as a pitcher."

As for who they gave up, Shaffer, a right-handed pitcher, was Arizona's No. 23 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old is 7-5 with a 2.70 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 19 starts for Class A Kane County this year, his second professional season. Scouting reports suggest that he has low-to-mid-90s fastball velocity, but that it offers sink that could play at the next level.

Perez, 25, has been touted for his defensive prowess behind the dish and his ability to hit right-handed pitching. He's thrown out 34.8 percent of basestealers this year, and is batting .284/.342/.417 (62-for-218) with nine doubles, six homers and 29 RBIs in 58 games for Triple-A Reno. A fifth-round selection by the D-backs in 2011, Perez is a career .246/.321/.396 hitter over 572 games across eight Minor League seasons.

"We liked both guys," Hazen said. "Michael has done a really good job at Triple-A for us this year, [but] we have three catchers at the Major League level at this time, we have other guys at Triple-A. We felt like Michael was probably likely a [40-man roster] add for us in the offseason, so we were going to have him, but Tampa had identified him as somebody that might work in a context like this.

"We drafted Brian last year, and he's had a really good year for us in Kane County, and we liked him, too. He's a right-handed pitcher, puts the ball on the ground."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Andriese

D-backs unable to sign top pick

Prep shortstop McLain expected to play collegiately at UCLA
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The D-backs were unable to sign high school shortstop Matt McLain, their first pick (25th overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft before Friday afternoon's signing deadline.

McLain, who graduated from Beckman (Calif.) High School, will instead attend UCLA.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- The D-backs were unable to sign high school shortstop Matt McLain, their first pick (25th overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft before Friday afternoon's signing deadline.

McLain, who graduated from Beckman (Calif.) High School, will instead attend UCLA.

View Full Game Coverage

"We knew that on Draft day," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said of McLain's decision to attend college. "We really liked him. He was very high on our board. We felt like it was the right pick to make at the time. I'm not going to speak for him, but what was communicated to us was that the right decision for him was to go to UCLA, and we respect that."

The D-backs offered the full slot value of $2,636,400 to McLain, a source said, but that was not enough to get the deal done.

"I'm not going to get into exactly the financial part, but I will say we felt like it was a competitive offer," Hazen said. "I believe that this decision was made not as much on financial grounds, as it was that he felt like the right thing to do was to go to school."

As compensation, the D-backs will receive the No. 26 overall pick in next year's Draft, in addition to their own selection.

Hedging their bets against McLain making just such a decision, the D-backs drafted high school shortstop Blaze Alexander in the 11th round and signed him for $500,000, which was well above slot value.

Delgado back

The D-backs activated reliever Randall Delgado from the 60-day disabled list Friday and designated reliever Fernando Salas for assignment in order to make room on the roster.

Video: PHI@ARI: Delgado strikes out Perkins swinging

Delgado missed the second half of last season with elbow issues, and then suffered an oblique injury this spring.

Dyson update

Outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday after suffering a lower core injury in Wednesday night's game, continued to receive treatment Friday.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Dyson had yet to sit down with a specialist to get the full extent of his injury.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs to ink high-upside D.R. OF Guzman

MLB.com

The D-backs have signed close to 70 prospects during the last two international signing periods and have emerged as a force on the global market.

The D-backs have signed close to 70 prospects during the last two international signing periods and have emerged as a force on the global market.

:: 2018 International Signing Period ::

Their focus on international player acquisition continues this year.

According to industry sources, the D-backs have agreed to a $1.85 million bonus with outfielder Alvin Guzman of the Dominican Republic. Guzman, who ranks No. 16 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is among the most well-rounded prospects in this year's class.

The D-backs also agreed with left-handed pitcher Diomedes Sierra of the Dominican Republic for $420,000 and right-handed pitcher Abraham Calzadilla of Venezuela for a bonus in the $500,000 range.

The club has not confirmed the agreements.

Overall, the athletic Guzman has the type of projectable body scouts covet and he plays the type of defense that will keep him on the field when he struggles at the plate. He might have the best arm in the class and made a name for himself with his speed and power combination.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs -- like the D-backs -- that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs received $4,983,500.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs make pitching priority in Draft

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The D-backs used their first three picks in the 2018 Draft on position players, but a trend formed soon after.

Of the 40 players Arizona selected over three days, 23 were pitchers. It started on Tuesday when the club used seven of its eight selections on pitchers. It continued on Wednesday.

PHOENIX -- The D-backs used their first three picks in the 2018 Draft on position players, but a trend formed soon after.

Of the 40 players Arizona selected over three days, 23 were pitchers. It started on Tuesday when the club used seven of its eight selections on pitchers. It continued on Wednesday.

Draft Tracker: Every D-backs pick

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

"We took a lot of pitching, just to try to get some guys that we felt like had some upside, and good scouting evaluation," said D-backs director of scouting Deric Ladnier. "A lot of guys, [we used] a combination of the analytics that we have in place now combined with our scouting reports."

It seems there was a clear organizational focus for drafting those pitchers, especially on the second day of the Draft. Of the seven arms the D-backs selected on Tuesday, six were righties.

In fact, Arizona didn't draft a lefty until the ninth round.

"These are all guys that have plus velocity, they have leverage, they have strength, they've got size, they've got the secondary pitches," Ladnier said.

Right-hander Jackson Goddard, the club's third-round pick, is listed at 6-foot-3 and has a fastball that sits 92-94 mph and has reached 97 mph.

"He's literally a throwback to that big, strong, physical guy that can maintain his velo through the whole outing," Kansas coach Ritch Price said. "I think that's one of the most interesting aspects of his game is how strong he is physically."

D-backs fourth-round selection Ryan Weiss, listed at 6-foot-4, has a 91-93 mph fastball and can reach 95 mph. The most intriguing part about him may be that he could just be getting started.

He's only been a full-time pitcher for three years. When he arrived at Wright State, he only threw 83-85 mph. He just started throwing a curveball last year and it has improved drastically, according to Jeff Mercer, his college coach.

Video: Draft Report: Ryan Weiss, College pitcher

"If you can project at all, how good is this dude going to be in three years?" Mercer said. "Good God almighty. That's the crazy part for me. Not to be dramatic, it's just the truth."

When the ninth round hit, the D-backs selected their first left-hander of the Draft in Tyler Holton of Florida State. He could be a steal.

D-backs lean right on Day 2 of Draft

Here's why: Holton was an All-American in 2017 as he led the Seminoles to the College World Series. But on opening day this season, he tore is ulnar collateral ligament and had season-ending Tommy John surgery shortly after.

Conventional thinking says this pick comes with a risk, but Ladnier said the D-backs vetted it thoroughly with their medical team.

"He's not going to be able to pitch until probably April of next year," Ladnier said. "We knew that going in. He's somebody we've seen for a long time and was a very, very good pitcher in the ACC. We feel like he's got upside as a starter and we felt fortunate to be able to get him in the ninth round."

The D-backs' 2018 Draft ensures that, in the future, they will have more options to consider for situations like this.

Pitching may have been a large focus of this Draft for the organization, but there were no arms selected on the first day for one reason.

"I just believe hitters fly off the board a lot faster than the pitchers do, and there's way more pitchers to draft than there are position players that you feel can actually hit," Ladnier said on Monday.

That's why, on Monday, the club nabbed the position players it wanted with its first three picks.

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft SS Matt McLain No. 25

Arizona selected shortstop Matt McLain out of Beckman (Calif.) High School with the 25th overall pick. Though listed at 5-foot-10, McLain can hit for both average and power.

D-backs take shortstop, two OFs on Day 1

McLain, 18, is also versatile. He has the arm to play third base and has played in the outfield. The D-backs, who attended a few of McLain's high school practices, did a deep dive on him and want to continue playing him at short.

In 26 games for his school this past season, McLain slashed .369/.461/.595. He earned First-Team All-Pacific Coast League honors in each of his four years, and won conference Player of the Year in 2015 and 2018.

"First and foremost, the bat," Ladnier said when asked what they liked about McLain. "We felt like it was a very advanced high school bat. He has a short compact swing. He'll end up having some power. Everyone in our organization from top to bottom felt like this young man was going to hit."

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft OF Jake McCarthy No. 39

The D-backs took a pair of outfielders with their next two picks. They selected the University of Virginia's Jake McCarthy with their selection in the Competitive Balance Round A (39th overall). Then they nabbed Alek Thomas, a high school player, in the second round (63rd overall).

McCarthy is a speedster who stole 27 bases in 29 attempts as a sophomore. The D-backs knew him from when they scouted Pavin Smith, their first-round pick last year.

"We saw him early and when he got back and he was almost in spring training mode, but this is a guy that we've known for a very long time and we've watched his career, and is a guy we targeted for a long time, we felt comfortable being able to take him where we did," Ladnier said.

Thomas' father is a strength and conditioning coach with the Chicago White Sox. Ladnier said the organization liked how he's grown up in a Major League environment.

Thomas runs well and has been compared to Boston's Andrew Benintendi.

"He's a plus runner, he can play center field," Ladnier said of Thomas. "I do think he's going to come into some power, because he's very strong, he has a compact swing. Obviously skill-wise is going to be behind a Jake McCarthy, which I think is a good fit because one will be ahead of the other and they can push each other."

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs draftee Weiss motivated by tragedy

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The moment was surreal, almost like a video game. Ryan Weiss saw his last name -- the one he passionately plays and lives for -- flash across the screen when the D-backs selected him in the fourth round of Tuesday's portion of the MLB Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

PHOENIX -- The moment was surreal, almost like a video game. Ryan Weiss saw his last name -- the one he passionately plays and lives for -- flash across the screen when the D-backs selected him in the fourth round of Tuesday's portion of the MLB Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

"It was a dream come true," Weiss, a right-hander from Wright State, said.

Most draftees stand and hug their parents in that moment. Not Weiss. He couldn't. His father committed suicide six years ago and his mother died of a heart attack about five months ago.

But he's been able to take tragedy -- in both instances -- and let it shape him to be the best he can. It's given him a unique perspective. Instead of allowing heartbreak to deter him, he's used it as motivation.

"Truthfully, it's just allowed me to realize there's bigger things in life than whatever you're doing in the moment," he said.

Wright State coach Jeff Mercer recalled the first time he ever met Weiss, which was three weeks before Weiss' freshman year of college. Mercer and Weiss spoke after the pitcher spun a gem in a summer game.

Mercer didn't even know Weiss' father had passed away. He just saw a young, competitive kid who needed an opportunity.

"This dude wanted to be good so bad that, at the time, you could tell it was an obsessive drive," Mercer said. "It was different."

Little did he know.

"Once my dad passed away, I was inspired, I was determined and I was dedicated because I wanted to make his name greater than it already was," Weiss said. "That's what I set out to do and that's what I'm here for."

Mercer is used to talking to high schoolers who are focused on video games, girls and friends. Weiss, on the other hand, spoke like a "30-year-old man hellbent on being special." At the time, Mercer didn't know why.

When Mercer learned of Weiss' father, he understood the motivation. Why Weiss had a firmness in his voice as he spoke of his career aspirations. Why playing in the bigs seemed like more of a plan than a fleeting dream.

Always searching to turn unfortunate events into motivation, Weiss said, is something great athletes can do. Mercer once thought Weiss couldn't work any harder. Then his mom passed away.

"Ryan's mind works like everything is working in his favor to help him reach his goal," Mercer said. "Things can go badly, but it's not bad because actually, he thinks, 'This is going to make me stronger so I can get where I want to go.' It's such a special mindset."

Weiss said the rabid work ethic comes from everything he's been through. He knows that if he stays the course, he'll be just fine.

He relishes hard work.

"The success only lasts, what, about 24 hours? So the work is everything else. Enjoy work so you can enjoy the success," Weiss said.

Mercer doesn't know what's in store for Weiss. He just knows that because of his mindset, he will be as successful as his physical ability possibly allows.

That attitude is how a former Wright State walk-on who has dealt with so much tragedy just achieved a lifelong dream and now has the opportunity to continue making his mark on the sport.

"Everything happens for a reason, everything pans out the way it's supposed to, and at the end of the day, wherever you're at is where God wants you," Weiss said.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs lean right on Day 2 of Draft

Arizona takes seven pitchers in rounds 3 through 9
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- There was an obvious trend for the D-backs on the second day of the MLB Draft. Whereas they selected position players with their first three picks Monday, they loaded up on college arms -- especially righties -- on Tuesday.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

PHOENIX -- There was an obvious trend for the D-backs on the second day of the MLB Draft. Whereas they selected position players with their first three picks Monday, they loaded up on college arms -- especially righties -- on Tuesday.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

In fact, the D-backs selected right-handed pitchers in rounds 3-8 before finally taking a lefty in the ninth round. They rounded out the day with their only position-player pick.

"These are all guys that have plus velocity, they have leverage, they have strength, they've got size, they've got the secondary pitches," said Deric Ladnier, D-backs director of scouting, of the pitchers the club took Tuesday.

The Draft concludes Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 9 a.m. MST.

Round 3: RHP Jackson Goddard, Kansas
If D-backs fans want a sense of Goddard's physical ability, Kansas coach Ritch Price might have the perfect story for it.

It was 2017, Goddard's sophomore season. He had a no-hitter against TCU -- a well-respected program -- going into the eighth inning. Price said it's the only time he let Goddard go over 115 pitches. He finally pulled him after he allowed a base hit.

Goddard never threw a pitch under 92 mph in that outing. That's rare for a college arm.

"He's literally a throwback to that big, strong, physical guy that can maintain his velo through the whole outing," Price said. "I think that's one of the most interesting aspects of his game is how strong he is physically."

Video: Draft Report: Jackson Goddard, College pitcher

Projected by MLB.com to land in the fourth round, Goddard had stuff that could have had him selected in the top two rounds. There were a couple of concerns, though.

First, he missed six weeks of his junior season with an oblique injury. He made sure to make up for it with how he ended the year.

Over his final three starts -- 19 2/3 total innings -- he posted a 1.37 ERA.

"It just tells you what his ceiling is," Price said. "He's got a chance to be a special guy."

He displays three plus pitches. The fastball sits 92-94 mph, can hit 97 and features some run and sink. He also uses a low-80s slider and a changeup.

Price said the next step in Goddard's development is making sure he's more consistent around the strike zone. He's improved a lot there in the last year, so it will be about continuing to make progress.

"A couple years ago, we had five guys [from Kansas] pitching in the big leagues and he's the best guy we've ever had," Price said.

Round 4: RHP Ryan Weiss, Wright State
Weiss might be the definition of an upside pick.

He was a catcher until he began pitching late in his high school career. He threw about 83 mph when he arrived at Wright State, where he walked on to the team as a freshman. Heck, Jeff Mercer, an assistant coach at the time, had to lie to the head coach and stretch Weiss' velocity just so he could recruit him.

"If you like him or you don't as a prospect, that's irrelevant," said Mercer, now Wright State's head coach. "But respect the meteoric rise."

Weiss missed his entire first season at Wright State after herniating a disk and fracturing a vertebra in his back while overdoing weightlifting. But he quickly made up for lost time. In 2017, he led the Horizon League with a 2.13 ERA en route to conference Freshman of the Year honors.

Video: Draft Report: Ryan Weiss, College pitcher

Weiss' fastball sits at 91-93 mph. It can get a bit straight, but usually it arrives on a steep downhill plane because of his 6-foot-4 frame and an overhand delivery. Scouts like his mound presence and envision him becoming a No. 4 or 5 starter for a club.

His curveball is relatively new. He just learned to throw it last year.

Mercer didn't want to make any predictions, but Weiss' ceiling could be high.

"If you can project at all, how good is this dude going to be in three years?" Mercer said. "Good God almighty. That's the crazy part for me. Not to be dramatic, it's just the truth."

Round 5: RHP Matt Mercer, Oregon
Mercer wasn't a star when he got to campus.

He wasn't drafted out of high school because of his Tommy John surgery. He pitched largely in relief as a freshman. He finally moved into the weekend rotation as a sophomore. He became the Ducks' Friday night starter this season.

His fastball is usually 92-93 mph, but he's hit 97-plus before and can do so when he rears back. He has a breaking ball that has been described as a "slurvy" pitch this spring.

Video: Draft Report: Matt Mercer, College pitcher

Ranked as the No. 105 prospect by MLB Pipeline, went 5-7 with a 4.16 ERA in 15 starts in 2018. He struck out 86 batters in 88 2/3 innings.

Mercer needs to refine his command within the strike zone. That, plus some effort in his delivery, have some scouts predicting a future in the bullpen for him.

Mercer became the third consecutive right-hander selected by the D-backs on Tuesday.

Round 6: RHP Ryan Miller, Clemson
Miller, who was selected in the 31st round of last year's Draft, greatly improved his stock.

He is a former junior-college transfer who helped Clemson in a relief role for the first half of 2017 before an injury hampered him in the final part of the season. In 2018, he turned it on.

He went 7-1 and posted a team-leading 2.51 ERA out of the bullpen. He notched four saves and struck out 64 batters over 71 2/3 innings.

"He's a reliever, but we feel like he's a fast mover, he's got good stuff," Ladnier said.

Video: MLB Draft: Ladnier breaks down first two Draft days

Round 7: RHP Travis Moths, Tennessee Tech
Moths has consistently improved over a four-year college career.

In his senior season, he's gone 13-2 and posted a 3.86 ERA over 16 starts. His season isn't over yet as his team is in the NCAA Super Regionals.

He's been a workhorse, too. Moths has already thrown over 95 innings this year, which is about 50 more than he tossed in his freshman season.

Round 8: RHP Levi Kelly, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Kelly was emerging as a top high school prospect in West Virginia when he made the move to IMG Academy after his sophomore season. He's taken advantage of the opportunity to play against stiffer competition.

Kelly's greatest feature is his arm strength. His fastball sits at 92-93 mph. It will only get better as he continues to mature.

He has a slider that has 10-to-4 action, and it is believed to be a breaking pitch that will at least be average.

The largest concern surrounding him, other than whether he'll sign, is that he has struggled with command at times. His high-tempo delivery and mindset could point to a future in the bullpen.

"We're pretty sure that he wants to go out and pitch," Ladnier said. "He's a high school kid that we saw up to 96 mph."

He is committed to LSU.

Round 9: LHP Tyler Holton, Florida State
Holton could be a steal for the D-backs if he pans out.

Holton, Florida State's ace, missed the entire season after suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow on Opening Day and having Tommy John surgery soon after.

"He's not going to be able to pitch until probably April of next year," Ladnier said. "We knew that going in. He's somebody we've seen for a long time and was a very, very good pitcher in the ACC. We feel like he's got upside as a starter and we felt fortunate to be able to get him in the ninth round."

As a junior in 2017, Holton was a first-team All-American. He led the Seminoles with a 10-3 record and 144 strikeouts in a season where they went to the College World Series.

Holton was selected in the 35th round of last year's MLB Draft.

"We assumed the rest of a Tommy John, but our medical team feels like it's pretty standard procedure," Ladnier said.

Round 10: C Nick Dalesandro, Purdue
Dalesandro was the only position player the D-backs drafted Tuesday. As a junior in 2018, he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors, as well as being named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team.

This year, he slashed .297/.400/.402 with 15 doubles, two home runs and 34 RBIs. He was also reliable as he never missed a game in three seasons.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs take shortstop, two OFs on Day 1

Arizona drafts high schoolers McLain, Thomas and Virginia product McCarthy
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- One thing about all three players selected by the D-backs on the first day of the 2018 Draft: They are all good athletes who can run and play in the middle of the diamond.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

PHOENIX -- One thing about all three players selected by the D-backs on the first day of the 2018 Draft: They are all good athletes who can run and play in the middle of the diamond.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

The D-backs selected shortstop Matt McLain out of Beckman (Calif.) High School with the 25th overall pick in the 2018 Draft, which began Monday night.

With their pick in the Competitive Balance Round A (39th overall), the D-backs picked University of Virginia outfielder Jake McCarthy.

And in their final pick Monday, the D-backs selected high school outfielder Alek Thomas in the second round (63rd overall).

The Draft continues Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. MST, with exclusive coverage beginning at 10 a.m. MST.

For D-backs scouting director Deric Ladnier, taking the up-the-diamond players was the way to go given last year's Draft in which the team selected first baseman Pavin Smith, third baseman Drew Ellis and catcher Daulton Varsho with the first three picks.

"Last year we felt like we went after thumpers on the corners and obviously Daulton Varsho behind the plate," Ladnier said. "But we did want to increase the speed within our system and the athletic ability within our system. I think this Draft just really balances out last year's Draft, quite frankly, and now you have a good core of corner guys, and you have a good core of up the middle guys."

McLain has moved up the Draft boards thanks to an excellent spring. The 5-foot-10 right-handed hitter has hit for both average and power.

Video: ARI@SF: D-backs booth on drafting McClain at No. 25

McLain, 18, plays shortstop in high school, but his athleticism means he is versatile. He has the arm to play third and he got some time in the outfield last fall, displaying an above-average arm.

Ladnier said the D-backs plan to play McLain as a shortstop and the team did a deep dive on him, going so far as to attend some of his high school practices to get a feel for his intangibles.

"First and foremost, the bat," Ladnier said when asked what they liked about McLain. "We felt like it was a very advanced high school bat. He has a short compact swing. He'll end up having some power. Everyone in our organization from top to bottom felt like this young man was going to hit,"

In 26 games for Beckman this past season, he slashed .369/.461/.595. He was named First-Team All-Pacific Coast League in each of his four years of high school and twice won conference Player of the Year honors in 2015 and 2018.

Along with younger brothers Nick and Sean, he helped lead Beckman to the California Southern Section Division 2 championship game last week, where they lost to Yucaipa High School.

McLain is committed to go to UCLA and is said to have an outstanding work ethic. He is being advised by agent Scott Boras, but Ladnier sounded confident that the D-backs would get him signed.

McCarthy has outstanding speed. During his sophomore season, he led the Atlantic Coast Conference while stealing 27 bases in 29 attempts. He missed part of his junior season due to a broken wrist.

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft OF Jake McCarthy No. 39

The D-backs got familiar with McCarthy last year while scouting Smith at Virginia and planned on targeting him this year.

"He's been a consistent performer from a very good program," Ladnier said. "He's obviously a very good center fielder. We watched this kid for a very long time."

Thomas, who played three sports at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, is the son of White Sox director of strength and conditioning Allen Thomas.

The 18-year-old has a compact left-handed stroke with good bat speed and a mature approach at the plate.

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft CF Alek Thomas No. 63

Thomas runs extremely well and has been compared to the likes of Boston's Andrew Benintendi. He had committed to play baseball at Texas Christian University.

"He's a plus runner," Ladnier said. "He can play center field. I do think he's going to come into some power, because he's very strong, he has a compact swing. Talked to him tonight, he's very excited to get his career started. Wants to get signed and get out here."

The slot value for the 25th overall pick is $2,363,400, while it's $1,834,500 for the Comp A pick and $1,035,500 for the 63rd overall pick.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Options aplenty for D-backs at 25th overall

MLB.com

The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 3 p.m. MST. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. MST. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. MST.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

View Full Game Coverage

The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 3 p.m. MST. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. MST. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. MST.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

View Full Game Coverage

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the D-backs, whose first selection is the 25th overall pick.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

In about 50 words
Sustainability is a word that Mike Hazen has talked about often since being named the D-backs' GM following the 2016 season. In order for the mid-market D-backs to be able to do that, they have to have a steady pipeline of talent coming through the system, which is why Hazen puts such an emphasis on the Draft.

The scoop
The D-backs philosophy under Hazen has been to pick the best player available regardless of need or whether he's in high school or college, especially early in the Draft. Last year was an example of that as they selected University of Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith with the seventh overall pick despite the presence of Paul Goldschmidt on the roster through at least next season.

First-round buzz
It's always tough to forecast the baseball Draft, but it's especially difficult when you're talking about the 25th pick. Callis' recent Mock Draft had the D-backs selecting University of Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker. Other names that Callis has linked to the D-backs include: Clemson first baseman Seth Beer, Duke outfielder Griffin Conine, Missouri State shortstop Jeremy Eierman, Oregon State outfielder Trevor Larnach and Virginia outfielder Jake McCarthy.

Video: Draft Report: Steele Walker, College outfielder

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

This year, the D-backs have a pool of $7,683,700 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $2,636,400 to spend on their first selection.

Shopping list
The D-backs are looking for depth at all positions as they continue to try and bulk up the system. Starting pitching is always a need and power bats are something they will keep a close eye on.

Video: Draft Report: Seth Beer, College first baseman

Trend watch
The D-backs picked polished college bats in the early rounds last year before mixing in some high upside players. Intentional or not, the quicker-moving college bats like Smith and Drew Ellis helped balance out the system, which needed bats at the upper end.

Rising fast
The D-backs were aggressive in placing third baseman Ellis and catcher Daulton Varsho in the California League to start this year. Both have responded very well. Ellis hit .291 in May and has six homers overall, while Varsho hit .278 last month and also has six homers overall.

Cinderella story
The D-backs picked catcher Dominic Miroglio in the 20th round of the 2017 Draft out of the University of San Francisco. They knew that he was a good catch-and-throw guy, but he has also produced with the bat. Last year he had an .813 on-base plus slugging in rookie ball and he's followed that up this year in the Cal League with an .807 OPS.

In the show
The core of the D-backs offense -- outfielder A.J. Pollock (2009, first round), Goldschmidt ('09, eighth round) and Jake Lamb ('12, sixth round) were drafted by the organization. Utility man Chris Owings ('09, first round), setup man Archie Bradley ('11, first round) and lefty Andrew Chafin ('11, first round) who also play big roles, are homegrown.

The D-backs' recent top picks
2017: Smith, 1B (Class A Visalia)

2016: No first-round pick

2015: Dansby Swanson, SS (Majors, Atlanta)

2014: Touki Toussaint, RHP (Double-A Mississippi)

2013: Braden Shipley, RHP (Triple-A Reno)

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

These 5 prospects could impact NL West race

MLB.com

The National League West race has already been plenty surprising, but it also feels ... incomplete. The Dodgers and Giants are both without their aces. The D-backs are down their best everyday player. The standings seem a bit topsy-turvy right now, but it's also easy to remind yourself that these teams are sure to change over the coming months.

And that's not just a matter of injuries. Every team in the division has at least one prospect knocking on the door, players who could shape the race in their own ways if given the opportunity.

The National League West race has already been plenty surprising, but it also feels ... incomplete. The Dodgers and Giants are both without their aces. The D-backs are down their best everyday player. The standings seem a bit topsy-turvy right now, but it's also easy to remind yourself that these teams are sure to change over the coming months.

And that's not just a matter of injuries. Every team in the division has at least one prospect knocking on the door, players who could shape the race in their own ways if given the opportunity.

Here's a look at one prospect to watch for each club.

Video: Top Prospects: Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs

D-backs
Prospect:
Jon Duplantier, RHP
MLB Pipeline rankings: D-backs' No. 1 prospect, overall No. 68
Why you should keep an eye on him: A year after starring in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League, Duplantier has handled the jump to Double-A with ease. And he's done it while keeping his strikeout rate high and slashing his walk rate. The problem, of course, is that Arizona has plenty of pitching, even with Taijuan Walker out. What the Snakes need is a bat. Still, Duplantier has risen rapidly -- he's at his fourth level after just 30 professional starts -- so he could be putting himself in position to help if there's a need down the road sometime.
ETA: It will most likely be 2019, but Duplantier is doing everything he can to force the issue.

Video: LAD@SD: Verdugo plates Utley with a single to right

Dodgers
Prospect:
Alex Verdugo, OF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Dodgers' No. 2 prospect, overall No. 30
Why you should keep an eye on him: We could have gone with Walker Buehler here, but it seems likely he'll be losing his prospect status sooner than later. He's up, and it seems he's up to stay. Verdugo appears to have a tougher fight for a spot on the big league roster. He has the ability, though. Verdugo has excellent bat-to-ball skills, and he's using them to hit .300 yet again. He also has an exceptional arm and is at least a big league-caliber right fielder, if not a potential center fielder. It's a bit of an unusual package -- Verdugo is not really a leadoff man since he doesn't walk much, and he's not really a middle-of-the-order hitter since he doesn't hit for power. But he hits, he catches, he throws and he held his own in an audition earlier this year. Verdugo will help the Dodgers again before the year is out.
ETA: September at the latest, but it will be surprising if it's not sooner.

Giants
Prospect:
Austin Slater, OF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Giants' No. 5 prospect
Why you should keep an eye on him: In short, because Slater is raking. And one of baseball's oldest truths is, if you hit, they'll find a spot for you. In classic Giants fashion, Slater is not a highly touted tool box. He's just a guy who's producing. Slater has refined his strike zone over the years and he's torching the PCL to the tune of .396/.472/.679. He is 25 and in his fifth year of pro ball, so he may not have a ton of growth remaining in his game. But Slater is hitting, and that's the surest ticket to The Show.
ETA: It's kind of now or never; if Slater can't force his way into the mix before the year is out, it's hard to see when he will.

Video: Top Prospects: Luis Urias, 2B, Padres

Padres
Prospect:
Luis Urias, IF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Padres' No. 3 prospect, overall No. 32
Why you should keep an eye on him: Urias doesn't have quite the hype, or the famous name, of fellow future Friar Fernando Tatis Jr. But he is closer to the Majors than Tatis, and at least arguably having a better year. Urias is the more polished of the two prized infield prospects, with an advanced approach that has produced a .407 OBP at Triple-A. He looks like he'll play a solid second base in the big leagues. Urias may never be a basher, but he's shown some improved pop this year, which will help him keep drawing walks at the top level.
ETA: It could very well come after the non-waiver Trade Deadline, once San Diego clears some space for him.

Video: COL@PIT: McMahon doubles the lead with RBI single

Rockies
Prospect:
Ryan McMahon, 1B
MLB Pipeline rankings: Rockies' No. 2 prospect, overall No. 38
Why you should keep an eye on him: You may not have heard, but the Rockies haven't gotten an awful lot of production out of first base this year. And McMahon can hit, posting a .355 average in the Minors last year. He's scuffled some this year, including in a 60 plate-appearance look with the big club, but he's come on since he was sent back down to Triple-A. Meanwhile Ian Desmond is hitting .180 with a .233 OBP, and has a .671 OPS since joining the Rockies last year. There's also been talk of giving McMahon a look at second base, but that seems like a tough ask. Still, it's an indication that he's on the big club's radar.
ETA: Like Verdugo, McMahon is certain to get a September callup, and likely to get another before then.

Matthew Leach is the National League executive editor for MLB.com.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Jon Duplantier, Ryan McMahon, Austin Slater, Luis Urias, Alex Verdugo

Shipley, Brito off to fast starts in Minor Leagues

Top prospect Duplantier rehabbing from right hamstring injury
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Braden Shipley has followed up a solid Spring Training with a hot start to the season for Triple-A Reno.

The D-backs selected Shipley, 26, in the first round of the 2013 Draft, and he has appeared in 23 big league games (14 starts) over the past two seasons. This spring, he went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three outings.

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Braden Shipley has followed up a solid Spring Training with a hot start to the season for Triple-A Reno.

The D-backs selected Shipley, 26, in the first round of the 2013 Draft, and he has appeared in 23 big league games (14 starts) over the past two seasons. This spring, he went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three outings.

Shipley figures to be near or at the top of the D-backs' list of pitchers that would be called up should something happen to one of their five starters.

In his first start of the year for the Aces, Shipley held visiting Fresno to one run over 5 1/3 innings, then gave up two runs in six frames at Sacramento.

"He looks great," D-backs vice president of player development Mike Bell said. "He threw the ball well in Reno, and we all know what kind of place that can be to pitch in. The key for him, I think, is commanding his fastball, being able to use his fastball down in the zone, elevate with purpose and intention and be able to command all those pitches. I think his changeup is a key for him, and so far, he's had a good feel for that."

Video: COL@ARI: Shipley K's Amarista to secure the shutout

Another member of the Aces off to a hot start is outfielder Socrates Brito. Ranked as the organization's No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Brito has had a couple of injury-plagued seasons that have dropped him down the list.

In his first seven games of the season, Brito is hitting .448/.484/.552.

Double-A Jackson reliever Yoan Lopez, who was signed to a $8.27 million free-agent deal out of Cuba in January 2015, has yet to allow a run in three innings.

"[Wednesday] night he was just outstanding," Bell said of the 26th-ranked prospect. "He punched out three and his stuff was electric. I saw him in Jackson earlier and he did well in very cold conditions."

Arizona's top prospect, right-hander Jon Duplantier, missed the start of the season with a right hamstring injury, but he is back pitching in extended spring.

"We're just building up his innings now," Bell said. "He should make his first start the 21st or 22nd of this month."

Video: Top Prospects: Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs

Third baseman Drew Ellis and catcher Daulton Varsho were selected 44th overall and 68th overall, respectively, by the D-backs in last year's Draft. This year, both started with Class A Advanced Visalia of the California League.

Ellis recently homered in back-to-back games, while Varsho hit .333 with two homers and nine RBIs in his first five contests.

"He went out and got off to a great start, and that should help him feel like he belongs there because he certainly does," Bell said of Varsho. "At 21 years old in that league, it's a big jump, but he's off to a great start."

If you want to keep track of D-backs Minor Leaguers this year, the best way to do it is with our Minor League Tracking Tool.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Socrates Brito, Braden Shipley

Where D-backs' Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the D-backs' Top 30 prospects are starting the season:

1. Jon Duplantier (MLB No. 74), RHP -- Extended spring training
2. Pavin Smith (MLB No. 91), 1B -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
3. Jasrado Chisholm, SS -- Kane County Cougars (A)
4. Taylor Widener, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
5. Marcus Wilson, OF -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
6. Daulton Varsho, C -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
7. Taylor Clarke, RHP -- Reno Aces (AAA)
8. Drew Ellis, 3B -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
9. Matt Tabor, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
10. Gabriel Maciel, OF -- Extended Spring Training
11. Eduardo Diaz, OF -- Extended Spring Training
12. Kristian Robinson, OF -- Extended Spring Training
13. Domingo Leyba, SS/2B -- Jackson Generals (AA)
14. Socrates Brito, OF -- Reno Aces (AAA)
15. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP -- Reno Aces (AAA)
16. Jhoan Duran, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
17. Cody Reed, LHP -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
18. Jared Miller, LHP -- Reno Aces (AAA)
19. Andy Yerzy, C -- Kane County Cougars (A)
20. Kevin Cron, 1B -- Reno Aces (AAA)
21. Anfernee Grier, OF -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
22. Jose Almonte, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
23. Alex Young, LHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
24. Brian Shaffer, RHP -- Kane County Cougars (A)
25. Jack Reinheimer, SS/2B -- Reno Aces (AAA)
26. Yoan Lopez, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
27. Elvis Luciano, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
28. Eudy Ramos, 3B/1B -- Kane County Cougars (A)
29. Wei-Chieh Huang, RHP -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
30. Mason McCullough, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the D-backs' Top 30 prospects are starting the season:

1. Jon Duplantier (MLB No. 74), RHP -- Extended spring training
2. Pavin Smith (MLB No. 91), 1B -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
3. Jasrado Chisholm, SS -- Kane County Cougars (A)
4. Taylor Widener, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
5. Marcus Wilson, OF -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
6. Daulton Varsho, C -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
7. Taylor Clarke, RHP -- Reno Aces (AAA)
8. Drew Ellis, 3B -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
9. Matt Tabor, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
10. Gabriel Maciel, OF -- Extended Spring Training
11. Eduardo Diaz, OF -- Extended Spring Training
12. Kristian Robinson, OF -- Extended Spring Training
13. Domingo Leyba, SS/2B -- Jackson Generals (AA)
14. Socrates Brito, OF -- Reno Aces (AAA)
15. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP -- Reno Aces (AAA)
16. Jhoan Duran, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
17. Cody Reed, LHP -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
18. Jared Miller, LHP -- Reno Aces (AAA)
19. Andy Yerzy, C -- Kane County Cougars (A)
20. Kevin Cron, 1B -- Reno Aces (AAA)
21. Anfernee Grier, OF -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
22. Jose Almonte, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
23. Alex Young, LHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
24. Brian Shaffer, RHP -- Kane County Cougars (A)
25. Jack Reinheimer, SS/2B -- Reno Aces (AAA)
26. Yoan Lopez, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)
27. Elvis Luciano, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
28. Eudy Ramos, 3B/1B -- Kane County Cougars (A)
29. Wei-Chieh Huang, RHP -- Visalia Rawhide (A Adv)
30. Mason McCullough, RHP -- Jackson Generals (AA)

D-backs prospect coverage | D-backs Top 30 prospects stats

Team to watch
Seven of the prospects on the D-backs' Top 30 will start the year with the Visalia Rawhide in the hitting-friendly California League. That's very good news for the four hitters in the organization's top 10 who will call Visalia home. It starts with No. 2 prospect and 2017 first-rounder Pavin Smith and includes fellow '17 draftees, catcher Daulton Varsho (No. 7 prospect) and third baseman Drew Ellis (No. 8). They'll be joined by '17 breakout prospect Marcus Wilson, the toolsy outfielder who is ranked No. 5 in the Top 30.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Reno Aces
Jackson Generals
Kane County Cougars
Hillsboro Hops

New faces
When the D-backs traded Brandon Drury to the Yankees in February, they got No. 4 prospect Taylor Widener in return. The right-hander, who was a 12th-rounder out of South Carolina in the 2016 Draft, is coming off of a very strong first full season that saw him strike out 9.7 per nine and hold Florida State League hitters to a .206 batting average. Widener topped the circuit in WHIP and was fourth in ERA. He'll make his D-backs debut with Jackson.

D-backs fans might have to wait a bit longer to see international import Kristian Robinson in action. The Bahamanian native signed last July for $2.5 million, but it's possible he won't even play in the United States until 2019, perhaps beginning his career this summer in the Dominican Sumer League.

On the shelf
Duplantier is beginning the season in extended spring training as he recovers from a hamstring issue.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs option Sherfy; reassign Feliz, Recker

Bastardo released as Arizona makes round of moves to trim roster
Special to MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With Opening Day approaching, the D-backs made their second set of moves in three days Tuesday, highlighted by their decision to option Jimmie Sherfy, their No. 15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, to Triple-A Reno.

The D-backs also reassigned veteran right-hander Neftali Feliz and catcher Anthony Recker to Minor League camp and released veteran left-hander Antonio Bastardo. Feliz and Bastardo faced stiff competition for bullpen roles, while Recker, who was signed to a Minor League contract in early March, faced long odds of making the club with Alex Avila, Jeff Mathis and Chris Herrmann projected as the trio of big league catchers on the D-backs roster.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With Opening Day approaching, the D-backs made their second set of moves in three days Tuesday, highlighted by their decision to option Jimmie Sherfy, their No. 15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, to Triple-A Reno.

The D-backs also reassigned veteran right-hander Neftali Feliz and catcher Anthony Recker to Minor League camp and released veteran left-hander Antonio Bastardo. Feliz and Bastardo faced stiff competition for bullpen roles, while Recker, who was signed to a Minor League contract in early March, faced long odds of making the club with Alex Avila, Jeff Mathis and Chris Herrmann projected as the trio of big league catchers on the D-backs roster.

"We still have some key decisions in that bullpen, and we know they're probably going to be the most difficult decisions," manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday. "We like a lot of candidates, but unfortunately you can't carry 10 guys in the bullpen."

In addition to Sherfy, Arizona optioned outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker and first baseman Christian Walker to Triple-A. Hazelbaker was a long shot to make the club following the signings of Steven Souza Jr. and Jarrod Dyson in February, locking up the four outfield spots. There wasn't room for Walker either, with Daniel Descalso and Chris Owings serving as utility players and Herrmann preparing to back up Paul Goldschmidt at first.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Sherfy, who made his big league debut last August and didn't allow a run in 11 appearances, had been a strong candidate to earn a bullpen spot on the D-backs' Opening Day roster.

"We know he's a big league pitcher," Lovullo said. "He was on our playoff roster. We're excited about what his potential is."

The 26-year-old right-hander was slowed by shoulder fatigue early in camp, but pitched in his first Cactus League game Sunday. He threw one inning, allowing a homer, with two strikeouts.

"I feel locked in," Sherfy said, remaining upbeat after getting the news Tuesday. "I was working on my slider, trying to get the shape of it a little better to speed up, and I threw a couple last outing that I was very pleased about. Got a couple swings and misses on my changeup, was working on that too, so that was real good. The fastball glove-side was leaking over the plate a little bit, so a little more fine-tuning and that'll be right there."

Sherfy had an uphill climb and was competing against the calendar once his shoulder fatigue put him on a delayed schedule.

"He was a little banged up and took his time because he needed to take his time," Lovullo said. "We felt like player development was going to give him that opportunity to get in a rhythm and get the ball every other day and get on the roll that we want him to get on."

Archie Bradley, Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano have spots in the back of the bullpen locked up, with left-handers Andrew Chafin and T.J. McFarland also on track, though Jorge De La Rosa remains in competition for a second or third lefty in the 'pen. The remaining two spots feature Matt Koch, Albert Suarez, Michael Blazek and Kris Medlen competing for the long-reliever role and Fernando Salas emerging as the front-runner for the final spot, with Randall Delgado expected to start the season on the disabled list.

There is little doubt Sherfy will be back at some point during the season, and he feels as ready as he has ever been, saying he gained 12 pounds during Spring Training.

"I feel the best I have coming out of any spring right now," Sherfy said. "I really don't know when I'm going to be back. I'm just going to take it one day at a time and try to get better every single day."

The 29-year-old Feliz and 34-year-old Recker were in camp as non-roster invitees. The 32-year-old Bastardo had signed a free-agent deal with the D-backs in January.

The D-backs now have 35 players remaining in Major League camp.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Antonio Bastardo, Neftali Feliz, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Anthony Recker, Jimmie Sherfy, Christian Walker