New general manager Kevin Towers continues to remake the Diamondbacks' front office. Towers bolstered the scouting department in the second week of November by hiring long-time associate Bill Bryk and former major league catcher Todd Greene to the newly created roles of special assistants and major league scouts.
Bryk and Greene will scout the major leagues exclusively, with Bryk handing the NL and Greene the AL, and report directly to Towers. In the recent past, the D-backs did not have field scouts dedicated solely to the major leagues, instead using area scouts to handle both major and minor league scouting.
As general manager in San Diego, Towers hired Bryk in 1999, and Bryk spent the last 11 seasons with the Padres. Bryk and Towers helped build the San Diego teams that won NL West titles in 2005-06. Greene spent 11 seasons in the majors, the last with San Francisco in 2006. He was a major league scout for the Mariners this past season and a quality assurance coach for the Rays in 2009. The input from Bryk and Greene will be especially valuable in considering free agents and making deals at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
That is not all Towers has done to the scouting department since being hired September 22. Towers relieved Tom Allison of his duties as scouting director, and although Towers offered Allison another position within the organization, Allison chose to part ways with the D-backs. Replacing Allison is Ray Montgomery, who worked alongside Allison in the Brewers' scouting department for several seasons and has most recently been the assistant director of amateur scouting for Milwaukee. Towers also created a new position for Jerry Dipoto as the director of scouting and player development. It is sort of a right-hand-man job, a position filled during Towers' time in San Diego by Grady Fuson and Ted Simmons.
Mark Weidemaier was also hired as an advance scout, another position that had been vacant in recent years when the D-backs relied heavily on video and area scouts to compile reports on opposing teams. Weidemaier has served in a similar capacity with the Dodgers the last 12 seasons.
--LHP Clay Zavada, who missed most of the 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, was outrighted to Class AAA Reno the second week of November. Zavada, 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 49 games as a rookie in 2009, did not make the team out of spring training and was optioned to Reno, where he made five appearances before having the elbow operation in mid-May. Zavada is a true comeback story -- a 30th-round draft pick in 2006, he left baseball after his father passed away in 2007 in order to tend to the family farm. He rejoined the organization in 2008 and was spectacular upon his return, going 3-1 with an 0.51 ERA at Class A South Bend in 2008 before being promoted to the D-backs in mid-May 2009. Zavada did not allow an earned run in his first 19 major league appearances, a team record and the fourth-longest streak in the majors since 1954. He is not expected to be ready for the start of the 2011 season but could contend for a bullpen role after he regains his health.
--RHP Leo Rosales, who missed much of the 2010 season with a stress fracture in his right foot, was outrighted to Class AAA Reno the second week of November. Rosales was 2-0 with a 7.60 ERA in 16 appearances for the D-backs this year, suffering his injury in late April and not returning until rosters were expanded September 1. He was obtained from San Diego for OF Scott Hairston in a 2007 trade-deadline deal.
--The D-backs also have shaken up the training staff, notifying 15-year veteran assistant trainer Dave Edwards that his contract will not be renewed.
DIAMOND STAT: 34 -- Players on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster after LHP Clay Zavada and RHP Leo Rosales were outrighted to Class AAA Reno.
QUOTABLE: "Just as I realized that fans and media are a huge part of the game ... the collectors, the people who display it, have museums, really cherish these things on a different level than I do. It's an important part of our game, keeping our game healthy." -- Manager Kirk Gibson, on his decision to auction his collection of 1988 World Series memorabilia to raise money for the Kirk Gibson foundation and to fund partial scholarships at two high schools where his parents taught.
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