What D-backs' recent moves say about rotation

March 18th, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs trimmed down their camp roster on Monday by optioning pitchers , and to Triple-A Reno while assigning outfielder to Minor League camp.

Let’s take a look at what these moves mean going forward:

The rotation competition is down to three
The move leaves three starters still in camp competing for the No. 5 spot in the rotation with , and the remaining candidates.

Henry started off the spring hot, but has not pitched as well in his last few outings while Nelson has shown some improvement with his slider, a pitch the D-backs wanted him to work on this offseason.

Jarvis’ numbers don’t jump out -- 9.82 ERA in four games -- but he looked nasty in his last spring outing.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo has not said if one of the three pitchers who do not get the fifth spot would be used as a potential long man in the bullpen, but it’s a role that might suit Jarvis.

Cecconi might pitch in relief in Reno
The biggest question the D-backs seem to have with Cecconi is how he will do going through the order multiple times. Last year when he came up from Reno, he was seldom allowed to face a lineup a third time.

Lovullo said that Cecconi would pitch “bulk innings” in Reno, but stopped short of saying he was going to be a starter.

“We’re still trying to figure out what to do with Slade,” Lovullo said prior to the D-backs' 3-3 tie against the A's at Salt River Fields. “If he piggybacks with somebody, we’re trying to figure that out, but he’s going to get multiple innings and he’s going to be as versatile as he possibly can be for us if there’s ever a need here.”

The D-backs, Lovullo said, want to talk a little more about how Cecconi will best fit going forward.

Martin not quite there yet
It’s been a long journey for Martin, who came over to the D-backs in a Trade Deadline deal in 2019 while he was still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Last spring, he was on track to make the team as a long man out of the bullpen before suffering a shoulder injury in a Cactus League game and missing the entire season.

Martin has looked sharp this spring, but the team wants him to continue getting stronger before calling him up.

“This decision was made because we just don't feel like physically he's perfectly ready, but he's very, very close,” Lovullo said. “He might disagree with that. And he should disagree with that. But we just have to be very careful with this particular athlete who's had two serious surgeries -- and we don't want it to happen again.”