Tomas getting work in at first base

Outfielder could serve as backup for Lamb; Ray looking good early in camp

February 20th, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As the D-backs went through fielding drills Tuesday, spent his time at first base rather than in the outfield.

"It's just another weapon for Yas and another thing for us to consider," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

Tomas, who was signed by the D-backs out of Cuba as a third baseman prior to the 2015 season, spent 2015 and 2016 in the big leagues as an outfielder. Injury cost him most of 2017, and the D-backs decided last spring that his defense was not up to their standards, sending him to Triple-A Reno and eventually removing him from the 40-man roster.

The 28-year-old exercised his contract option during the offseason meaning he will make a guaranteed $15.5 million this year and $17 million in 2020.

Left-handed hitter Jake Lamb is expected to take 's place at first, but the D-backs would love to have a right-handed hitter to back up Lamb at the position. Tomas would greatly enhance his chances of making the Opening Day roster if he were able to show that he could be that guy.

"We feel like he has the ability to go out there," Lovullo said of Tomas at first. "He's a former third baseman and those instincts don't really leave infielders, and we know that there's a space [at first] for reasons that have been well documented. We don't really know what's going to happen in certain situations with certain matchups. It's nice to see him get over there and look as good as he did. He's very comfortable over there. It's a former infielder stepping back into the infield after a couple of years and doing a good job."

Tomas has played 16 total innings at first in the Majors and 85 1/3 innings there while in the Minors.

BP Bob

The D-backs pitchers faced hitters in live batting practice for the first time this spring Tuesday. It's a good time for the pitchers and not so much for the hitters, who are seeing 90-plus mph pitches for the first time since the end of last season.

"It's really right now all about the pitchers and the hitters know that," Lovullo said.

With that in mind, position players got to take additional batting practice off the coaches so they could work on their own timing.

One pitcher who jumped out to Lovullo on Tuesday was left-hander .

"I saw Robbie Ray throw the ball and look very good," Lovullo said. "He did a lot of [offseason] hard work from what I can tell."

Are we in Seattle?

Cooler-than-usual temperatures are expected to continue Wednesday, but of greater concern for the D-backs is the heavy rain forecast for Thursday. The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 49 degrees and rain throughout that day.

With that in mind, the D-backs are going to flip Wednesday's planned light day with Thursday's scheduled heavy one in case they have to cancel much of Thursday.

"We're going to try and do as much as we can tomorrow while the sun is shining," Lovullo said.