Thursday, March 29, 2007

Arizona options Enrique Gonzalez and Dana Eveland to minors

This just in via the Associated Press:

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned right-hander Enrique Gonzalez and lefty Dana Eveland to their minor league camp on Thursday.

Gonzalez and Eveland had been competing to be the Diamondbacks' fifth starter, but each was roughed up in his last spring training outing. Gonzalez had a 6.52 ERA in five games, and Eveland had an 8.25 ERA in five games

This leaves Dustin Nippert and Micah Owings as the final candidates for the fifth spot. With Owings' 4 run outing today in 3IP, it looks like Nippert will be named the fifth starter. This move would also allow a spot in the pen for JD Durbin.

There was also this article earlier this morning from Jack Magruder:

Owings may be 5th starter but begin season in minors

TUCSON - The Diamondbacks are considering a scenario in which Micah Owings starts the season in the minor leagues … and is still the D-Backs’ No. 5 starter. The D-Backs have discussed keeping 14 position players and 11 pitchers on the opening-day roster, and then purchasing Owings’ contract for the April 6 start at Washington.

Such a move would enable the D-Backs to keep at least two players from among Robby Hammock, Dave Krynzel and Brian Barden, and all three if Carlos Quentin (shoulder) begins on the disabled list.

One would be replaced by Owings five days into the season.

“It’s just another option. It’s something we’ve talked about, but nothing’s been settled on yet,” manager Bob Melvin said, without specifying the players involved.

Owings, Enrique Gonzalez and Dana Eveland are considered the leading candidates for the final spot in the rotation, with one of them a candidate for the bullpen when Randy Johnson returns from the disabled list in mid to late April.

Of course, this article was written before the DFA of Krynzel, the aquisition of JD Durbin, and Enrique and Eveland getting sent down. The problem with naming Owings the fifth starter is that he's not on the 40 man roster, and there's no room with him with the recent waiver acquisitions. It'd also start his clock early, and if Owings gets lit up and shows that he isn't quite ready for the big leagues yet, we've just wasted a year of service time. going with Dustin Nippert just makes the most sense. He's already been called up to majors before, so his service clock has already been started, He's in his last option year, he's already on the 40 man roster, and he's had the best spring out of all the starting canidates.

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