I was going to do a feature on the roster going into the season, but there are still a few spots left in the air. With Outfielder Jeff Davanon and Starting pitcher Randy Johnson starting on the disabled list, and now possibly right fielder Carlos Quentin injured with s slight tear in his labrum, there's a few spots left on the roster. Another thing worthy of note is the likelhood that the diamondbacks will trade RHP Jorge Julio. Today,
The competetion for the fourth and fifth spot consists of RHP Edgar Gonzalez, Enrique Gonzalez, Dustin Nippert, Micah Owings, and LHP Dana Eveland.
Edgar Gonzalez has had a stellar spring, and is out of options, so he appears to be a lock make the rotation, and stay in the rotation afte Johnson returns sometime in mid-late April. Edgar has added a solid change up to his pitching repertoire, and was solid last year pitching for the big club, posting a 4.22 ERA, with a bb/k ratio of 9/28. This spring he's posted an Era of
3.32, with 14 strike outs, and only two walks.
Dana Evgeland seems likely to either to make the 5th spot, or end up in the pen. Eveland has a stellar minor league record. in 83 minor league games over 4 seasons, he's posted a sparkling 2.69 ERa, a b/kk ratio of 115/382, a k/9 of 9.02, a bb/9 of 2.72, and a WHIP of 116. So based on his minor league track record, I think Eveland deserves the last spot.
Micah Owings has had a mighty fine spring, and a stellar minor leaugue and college record. Last year he was the orginzational minor leaugue pitcher of the year. The other day, in B squad game against the Padres, he had a 5 inning shut out performance. In the minor leaugdes, he does have a nice bb/k rstio of 55/150, and ERA of 3.23. Owings minor leaugue numbers aren't that impressive, but he has a stellar winning record, going 17-3 over two seasons. In addition he was a two way player in college, and carries an impressive bat. In college he had OPS's in two years over .900. Owings still needs some polish, and i'd expect him to start the year in triple A, at least until the all star break, that way he can work on his seconday pitches, and avoid starting his service clock too soon. This spring he's been amazing, with an era of 1.93, but only 5 strike outs, and 2 walks.
Dustin Nippert is an enigma. He's got a bb/k ratio of 175/473, and k/9 just under 9. Out of all the pitchers, the 6'7 right hander has got the most potential, but he still needs to work on his secondary pitches, and working out of the stretch. But he too has had a good spring, with an era of 3.38, but 7 strike outs to go with 7 walks.
Enrique Gonzalez, I'm not sure what to say. He's had the weakest spring, but was respectable in the rotation last year. He doesn't have the best stuff, but he seems to have good control.He had a walk out to strike out ratio 33/64. His Era wasn't something to write home about(5.87). He's got a small frame (5-11, 180IB) and doeesn't strike out as many guys(5.o k0) and he gives up too many hits(9.10 H9.). He wasn't terrible, and is decent pitcher, I just don't think he's the best choice for the 5th spot. Bob Melving seems to be leaning towards giving the spot. It is essentially going to be for 4 or 5 starts. My point is a think those four or five starts should be used to evaluate Nippert or Eveland. I propose that we A) Put him in the bullpen, as a replacement in the Jorge Julio trade or B.) Send him to AAA and put him in a relief, and see how he does in that role.
In this blogger's opinion, I think the team would be best off having Edgar and Eveland in the rotation, Nippert in the pen, and Enrique and Owings down in Tucson. However, Bob Melvin has indicated that he'd go with Edgar and Enrique in the rotation, and Eveland in the pen. OOwings would likely be called up later in the year.