How D-backs’ latest transactions affect roster

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The D-Backs performed three roster moves Friday to focus on the final decisions they must make regarding their bullpen.

Left-hander Kyle Nelson and right-hander Luis Frías were nominated for Triple-A Reno, while Jeurys Familia, who was not invited from the list, was moved to the minor league camp. Here’s what it all means:

Ryne Nelson or Drey Jameson could end up in the bullpen
Nelson and Jameson, Arizona’s No. 6 and No. 7 overall contenders, respectively, are the last two of the first group of four left in contention for fifth place in the rotation.

It was assumed that whoever lost on the spot would open the season with Triple-A Reno, but general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo both left open the possibility that anyone who misses the rotation could end the year as a longer one man could open the bull.

The D-Backs want bullpen length available early in the year
The number of pitchers is always limited in the first few starts of the year. No one wants to overhaul their appetizers from the start. Prior to his injury, Corbin Martin would likely have filled that role.

The D-Backs still have plenty of launch depth
After seeing how well Brandon Pfaadt played this spring and knowing what Tommy Henry is capable of, the D-Backs could be confident enough to decide between those two and Double-A prospects Bryce Jarvis, Blake Walston and Slade Cecconi have enough depth to use Nelson or relieve Jameson.

That leaves four candidates for two bullpen spots, or three candidates for one
If they chose to put either Jameson or Nelson in the bullpen, that would leave an open spot with Ryan Hendrix, Peter Solomon and Carlos Vargas still in the mix.

Putting Jameson/Nelson in a backup role and then sending them down to launch won’t be as easy
Hazen said that if the D-backs decide to field Jameson or Nelson for relief if they didn’t pitch several innings to stretch out in the first month of the season, he would hesitate to send them to Triple-A to be starters again.

“I don’t really want to be forced to take a reliever that’s done a reliever workload and make him a starter again during the season,” Hazen said. “I’m not saying we won’t, but that’s not my favorite thing about baseball.”


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