Just two weeks until the Diamondbacks break camp, and tough decisions are being made. As good as some players have performed, there just might not be a spot for them on the big league roster...yet. Scout.com breaks down the moves, and how they may affect the team you see at Chase.
PLUS: Drew continues to impress; Counsell back in action; Halsey to be skipped; Batista to return from WBC action.
He was the Diamondbacks' closer during the middle portion of last
season, at one point converting 11 of 12 save opportunities. But during
that stretch, right-hander Brian Bruney had an ERA of 8.20, a problem
that stayed with him this spring through five appearances.
After Bruney posted a 9.39 ERA in five Cactus League outings, the
Diamondbacks were convinced he still needs more seasoning and optioned
him to minor league camp on Sunday.
Manager Bob Melvin said the team's wouldn't be hesitant to recall
Bruney in case trouble hits Arizona's bullpen, but added the pitcher
needs to harness his abilities and get the most out of his talents
"Outside distractions get to him a little bit," Melvin said. "He's
got to be able to stop the bleeding, and at the end of last year, he
wasn't able to do that.
"The guy has a very high ceiling. ... It's just maturing some as a
pitcher, having more awareness of each and every situation and not
letting it get away from him like it does from time to time."
In other moves Sunday, the Diamondbacks reassigned five other
players to minor league camp, including veteran pitchers Felix Heredia
and Kevin Jarvis, along with first baseman Chris Carter, catcher Matt
Morgan and left-hander Neal Musser.
Heredia, 30, and Jarvis, 31, can refuse the assignment and elect to
become free agents. Both were to consult with their agents and make a
decision, although it appears Jarvis is more likely to accept the move
and remain in the organization.
--RHP Brandon Medders was "outstanding" during his first bullpen
session of the spring, manager Bob Melvin said. Medders, bothered by a
muscle group strain in the middle part of his right back, threw 25
pitches and reported no pain or discomfort. After a day off on Monday,
he will throw another side session on Tuesday and could be cleared to
pitch in his first game.
--SS Craig Counsell, who hasn't played in a game this spring while
recovering from a SLAP (superior labral anterior to posterior) tear in
his right labrum, could get pinch-hit duty Monday against the Cubs in
Tucson. He is scheduled to be Arizona's designated hitter for Tuesday's
game in Peoria, Ariz., against the Mariners.
--SS Stephen Drew is slated to start the season at Triple-A Tucson,
but he continues to impress the Diamondbacks at every turn. Manager Bob
Melvin said of the club's first-round pick in 2004, "I didn't expect to
see the type of player I'm seeing in camp. He's a very polished guy."
Asked what parts of Drew's game impress him the most, Melvin said,
"Every bit of him -- and that's the most impressive thing."
--RHP Miguel Batista was set to rejoin the Diamondbacks on Monday
after participating in the World Baseball Classic for his native
Dominican Republic. He is scheduled to start Tuesday's game against
--RHP Orlando Hernandez will make his scheduled start Monday against
the Cubs, despite the cancellation of Sunday's game in which LHP Brad
Halsey was to pitch against the Padres. "I'm ready to go, no problems,"
said Hernandez, who left after just one inning in his last outing
because of stiffness in his back and neck.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Runs needed by Shawn Green to reach 1,000 in
16 -- Doubles needed by Green for 400.
42 -- RBIs needed by Green for 1,000.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't like using that label, though, only because
I didn't play in the '30s, '40s or '50s and I shouldn't get compared to
guys who never iced their arms. Those guys went with only four-man
rotations. They threw 300 innings a year and if their arm hurt, they
just rubbed it in the dirt and spit on it. They had somebody ready to
take their job at the drop of a hat. And they had no guaranteed money
or none of that. ... I'm just a guy that likes to play baseball, day in
and day out." -- LHP Terry Mulholland, now 43 and entering his 20th
major league season, on being called "old-school" for his durability
and resilient arm.