PHOENIX -- The D-backs will wait until the last minute before finalizing their 25-man roster for tonight's National League Wild Card Game."It's a unique roster construction puzzle for us," said executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen, who has never put together a roster for a Wild Card Game.
PHOENIX -- The D-backs will wait until the last minute before finalizing their 25-man roster for tonight's National League Wild Card Game.
"It's a unique roster construction puzzle for us," said executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen, who has never put together a roster for a Wild Card Game. "So we've done a lot of studying over what the other clubs have done over the course of the years, in terms of optimal number of players, pitchers, position players."
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While the baseball operations department has had a lot of input, Hazen has been careful to make sure that manager Torey Lovullo has the most say.
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"One of the things we're trying to keep in mind is we're not managing the game," Hazen said. "Torey's managing the game. I think the majority of our questions or our input to the roster has focused on the questioning of how do you envision using this guy versus that guy versus this, and managing that game. We want to add input, if possible, to help in making that decision. I think in the end though, Torey needs to feel comfortable with the 25 guys that will be out there and how he's going to deploy them, and in what situations he's going to deploy them, and we'll go from there."
Outfielder David Peralta says the back and neck stiffness that has plagued him recently will not keep him out of the Wild Card Game. The club is also optimistic that shortstop Ketel Marte's tight left hamstring will be OK enough for him to play.
Reliever Jimmie Sherfy said he felt great Tuesday after throwing a live batting practice session Monday. Sherfy had been battling tightness in his right triceps. Catcher Jeff Mathis is ready to go after playing parts of Saturday and Sunday's games against the Royals. Mathis had been out with a fractured right hand.
Whether Mathis will start and catch Zack Greinke tonight, though, Lovullo would not say. Mathis was Greinke's regular catcher right up until his injury Aug. 21. Chris Iannetta, who has better numbers offensively, caught Greinke after that.
Shortstop Chris Owings, who has been out since July 30 with a fractured finger on his right hand, got five at-bats in an instructional league game Monday and was scheduled to take live batting practice Tuesday.
Lovullo has said that Owings is a candidate to make the Wild Card Game roster as a pinch-runner even if he is not quite ready to hit.
Goldy not worried
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt had arguably his worst month as a big leaguer in September when he hit just .171 with three homers and finished the regular season 0-for-17.
Goldschmidt was asked how he would put that behind him heading into the Wild Card Game.
"It's pretty easy," he said. "It's not about me. We're just trying to win. So I'll go out there and do my best. But it's not about me at all. So it's just no different. You're going to struggle throughout times of the year. I didn't play well the last week or so, but that's why it's a team game."
Getting away from it
After intense preparation for the Wild Card Game, Hazen will try and decompress a little bit on Tuesday night as he helps out at his son's soccer practice.
"We've spent a lot of hours breaking it all down," Hazen said. "But in the end, once 5:08 p.m. hits tomorrow, it's about executing. It's about going out and playing a good brand of baseball that we have all year. It's about going out there, making our pitches, making them work on their side of it. And that's all there is to it it's a baseball game. The more relaxed and freer we're going to play tomorrow, the better chance we have for good results."
The roof at Chase Field will be closed for the Wild Card Game due to the higher than normal temperatures that are expected to hit Phoenix. The forecast high for the day is 98 degrees.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.