Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training 2020
The Arizona Diamondbacks open up Spring Training 2020 on February 11th, when pitchers and catchers report. The first full team workout is on the 17th. The team’s first Cactus League game is Saturday, February 22nd.
New Players for 2020
The Diamondbacks added a handful of veteran free agents during the off-season. Key to those additions is starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner. The four-time All-Star and 2014 World Series MVP will be slotted in as the ACE. The team also added reliever Héctor Rondón to the bullpen. Outfielders Kole Calhoun and Starling Marte and catcher Stephen Vogt were also added to the roster.
Starting Pitching Competition
The team looks pretty set for starting pitching. Alongside starting ace Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Mike Leake, and Luke Weaver are penciled in as starters. Zac Gallen, who pitched very well over 15 starts last year, looks to be the front runner for the final starting spot. However, don’t count out Taylor Clarke, Jon Duplantier, Merrill Kelly, or Alex Young. They will all be looking for a starting spot as well. This year the team appears to have enough rotation depth that whoever doesn’t win the fifth spot starter could make the team as a bullpen arm.
There will be some bullpen spots up for competition. As mentioned earlier a couple of pitchers who do not make it as a starter could be slotted into the bullpen. They’ll come up against Andrew Chafin, Stefan Crichton, Kevin Ginkel and Yoan Lopez, who are returning for 2020.
Another bullpen arm, Junior Guerra, added was added in December. He was signed to be a possible spot starter, but his 2019 ERA was 3.55 in 83 2/3 innings out of the bullpen and that seems to match him well. He is expected to be a sixth- and seventh-inning pitcher, a setup for Chafin or Lopez.
Given his performance over the last few months of the 2019 season, Archie Bradley goes into Spring Training as the closer. He finished with a career-high 18 saves. However, we know Manager Torey Lovullo likes open competition, With the signing of Rondón competition will be high all spring.
Some Positions are Set
Currently, the team feels good about their returning core. Shortstop Nick Ahmed, third baseman Eduardo Escobar, catcher Carson Kelly, second baseman Ketel Marte, left-fielder David Peralta, and first baseman Christian Walker are all healthy and will be ready for Opening Day.
Newcomers will Boost Offense
Adding two proven offensive weapons, Kole Calhoun and Starling Marte, will help on the offensive front. Both players, when consistent, are capable of creating runs in a variety of ways.
And, there are some familiar players looking for spot. Those invited as non-roster players include outfielders Jon Jay and Yasmany Tomas and pitchers Edwin Jackson and Jimmie Sherfy. All of these players have previously worn the Diamondback uniform.
Rookies to Watch
A lot of the team’s top prospects will be at camp but are considered a few years away from the big leagues. Rookies to watch are—catcher Daulton Varsho, first baseman Seth Beer, pitcher J.B. Babushkas, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, and first baseman/Outfield Pavin Smith.
Need to Find Out in Camp
Starting this season teams will carry one extra player to increase their rosters to 26; with a maximum of 13 pitchers. The Diamondbacks have yet to decide whether they will carry 12 or 13 pitchers. We might even see them go back and forth between a pitcher and a position player depending on how many days off they have during the week. This makes some spots even more challenging and competitive for Spring Training 2020.
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