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Left, backups are D-backs' OF questions

Brito could challenge Tomas as starter; Bourgeois, O'Brien, Weeks among bench options
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While not quite as wide open as the infield, the D-backs outfield still has some competitions to keep an eye on as Cactus League games begin this week.

First of all, you can write in pen A.J. Pollock's name in center and David Peralta in right. When it comes to Yasmany Tomas you can put him in pencil for left field because he is going to get every opportunity to win that job, but you can't count out rookie Socrates Brito.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While not quite as wide open as the infield, the D-backs outfield still has some competitions to keep an eye on as Cactus League games begin this week.

First of all, you can write in pen A.J. Pollock's name in center and David Peralta in right. When it comes to Yasmany Tomas you can put him in pencil for left field because he is going to get every opportunity to win that job, but you can't count out rookie Socrates Brito.

"Socrates has such talent," manager Chip Hale said. "He's a special athlete. He's going to be a big league player. Is he our starting left fielder out of camp? We'll see. I mean, it's a competition. Tomas we feel has made a lot of strides over the winter; he's worked hard. They're both going to play. So we're going to take the best 25 [players] we can take."

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Here's a look at some of the main candidates to make the team in a backup role:

Brito: Brito was impressive in both Spring Training and a September callup last season. A poor showing by Tomas this spring combined with another good one by Brito and you could see Brito slide into a starting role. While the D-backs may want him to get regular at-bats in the Minors if he doesn't win the starting job, they will be tempted to keep him and try to find big league playing time for him.

"Whoever makes it, I'll get enough at-bats for," Hale said. "That's my job."

Video: HOU@ARI: Brito makes grab, nabs Carter at third

Jason Bourgeois: A veteran non-roster invitee to camp, Bourgeois played all three outfield positions for the Reds last season while getting 212 plate appearances. Like Brito, his ability to play center -- and play it well -- is certainly an advantage, because they are the only two backups capable of playing the position.

Peter O'Brien: O'Brien played the outfield the majority of the time for Triple-A Reno last year and saw very limited action in left during his September big league debut. Defense is a question mark for him, but he would provide a power bat off the bench.

Rickie Weeks: Signed Saturday, Weeks will get a chance to win a spot in the outfield. He can play left and right, though he only played a handful of games in left last year for the Mariners, his first year playing out there.

Chris Herrmann /Phil Gosselin: Both players would make the team as primary backups elsewhere -- Herrmann behind the plate and infield corners and Gosselin at second and third. Each has played some outfield in the past and could probably handle the corners.

Whether the D-backs keep three catchers including Herrmann, or an extra infielder, or even decide to go with 13 rather than 12 pitchers to start the year will impact the outfield battle.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Socrates Brito, Yasmany Tomas