SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When it comes to winning a job on the D-backs' bench, versatility is going to be a key factor.
“I don’t want them to play one spot or one position or be a one-trick pony,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I want them to play all three outfield spots and as many infield spots as possible. That’s my perfect wish, but we’ll see how it turns out.”
That’s one of the reasons Josh Rojas has seen so much time in the infield this spring.
After coming over from the Astros in the Zack Greinke deal last summer, Rojas played mainly in the outfield. Throughout his Minor League career, however, he had bounced around the diamond while playing nearly every day.
In seven games this spring, he’s played four at short and three at second. Eventually, he’ll get time in the outfield as well.
“He’s getting a lot of his time as an infielder because I only was able to evaluate him prior to this year as an outfielder,” Lovullo said. “I’ve liked the pace at which he’s played, I like the defensive versatility, I like his ability to make the above average play look fairly routine, but I just want to make sure that there’s consistency mixed in with that. I think all good infielders for the Arizona Diamondbacks are extremely consistent. I don’t think he’s had enough reps, or enough ground balls or enough attempts for me to be able to say where he’s at with that. But I know that there’s a lot of good fundamental in there. I think he’s on the right track.”
The D-backs have added a game to their Spring Training schedule and will field a team of top prospects against a team of the Rockies' top prospects on March 23 at 1:10 p.m. MT at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Among the current prospects scheduled to appear for Arizona are Corbin Carroll, Kristian Robinson and Alek Thomas.
D-backs infielder Domingo Leyba was suspended for 80 games without pay after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension of Leyba will commence at the start of the 2020 regular season.
Leyba, 24, was not expected to make the D-backs' Opening Day roster. He got 25 at-bats last season with Arizona and hit .280.
“We support MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement and the penalties for violating that policy,” the D-backs said in a statement. “We were disappointed to learn of this news and hope that Domingo will take the time away from the game to reflect on his actions and learn from his mistakes.”
The D-backs play a pair of split-squad games Saturday. Merrill Kelly will get the start against the Padres at Salt River Fields while Zac Gallen starts against the Angels in Tempe. Archie Bradley is also expected to see action against the Padres. Both games are slated to start at 1:10 p.m. MT.