Projecting the Diamondbacks' Final 25-Man Roster at the Start of Spring Training

Adam YoungContributor IIMarch 3, 2015

Projecting the Diamondbacks' Final 25-Man Roster at the Start of Spring Training

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    About a week has gone by since spring training officially started for the Arizona Diamondbacks. A fresh start is exactly what's needed in the desert after producing the MLB's worst record in 2014.

    Offseason acquisitions such as Yasmany Tomas and Jeremy Hellickson should have the fanbase confident that a turnaround isn't too far away.

    New manager Chip Hale and new general manager Dave Stewart also give the D-Backs a new-look beginning in 2015.

    Now that spring training is underway, the active roster is starting to take shape.

    Here is a look at what the D-Backs' 25-man roster will look like on Opening Day.

    All statistics courtesy of unless otherwise noted.


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    Chris Schneider/Associated Press

    Infielders (6): Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Chris Owings, Yasmany Tomas, Cliff Pennington, Jake Lamb

    The infield hasn't changed too much since 2014, save for the Cuban slugger, Tomas. The D-Backs hope the man they signed for $68.5 million in the offseason will be able to field his position at third.

    At first, signs were positive. Yet, now his technique has come under scrutiny. Tomas primarily played outfield in Cuba. 

    But the reward outweighs the risk. If Tomas can stick at third base, it will open up another spot in the lineup for an outfielder such as Mark Trumbo or David Peralta.

    The middle infield remains the same with Owings and Hill. Owings should improve on his rookie season in which he hit .261 with six home runs in 91 games. Hill is coming off a disappointing season in which he hit .244 with only 10 home runs. The D-Backs will need more production from him; otherwise he will likely be a trade target at the deadline.

    Then there's Paul Goldschmidt, the face of the franchise. Goldschmidt has recovered from the fractured hand that sidelined him for the final months of 2014. He should produce close to 30 home runs and 100 RBI if he stays healthy.

    On the bench, Pennington will provide utility skills, while Jake Lamb could see increased playing time if Tomas struggles defensively. Lamb hit .230 with four home runs in 37 games last season but is one of Arizona's brightest young prospects. Watch out for him. 


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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Outfielders (5): David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Mark Trumbo, Ender Inciarte, Cody Ross

    The outfield looks strong for Arizona heading into 2015. A.J. Pollock will return to center field, where he hit .302 with 32 extra-base hits in 75 games.

    Hopefully he will remain healthy because when out there, he saves more runs than just about anyone. Before Pollock's injury last season, only Carlos Gomez (23) had more defensive runs saved since 2013, according to MLB Daily Dish's Tyler Drenon.

    David Peralta will return to left field, where he broke out in 2014. He hit .286 with eight home runs and nine triples in 88 games. He also set a franchise record with 60 hits in his first 50 games. With a combination of size and speed, the left field job is Peralta's to lose.

    Trumbo should see the majority of time in right field because of his bat. He was a disappointment last season, however, hitting .235 with only 14 home runs in a year shortened by an injured foot. A 30-plus home run season is not out of the realm of possibility if healthy.

    On the bench, Ender Inciarte will provide a spark. Another rookie breakout player, Inciarte hit .278 and stole 19 bases last season. He set a franchise record for the longest hitting streak by a rookie (18 games).

    Finally, Cody Ross will provide some depth but will likely not see the field too often with all the young talent surrounding him.

Starting Rotation

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Rotation (5): Josh Collmenter, Jeremy Hellickson, Chase Anderson, Rubby De La Rosa, Vidal Nuno

    Collmenter will likely open the season as the D-Backs' starter on Opening Day, according to Fox Sports Arizona's Jack Magruder (h/t HardballTalk's D.J Short). The tomahawk-throwing right-hander led the team last season with 11 wins and a 3.46 ERA. 

    Acquired from the Rays in the offseason, Hellickson should be a solid No. 2 starter for Arizona. He is coming off elbow surgery performed last season but should be fully healthy again entering 2015. He will look to return to his 2010 form when he won AL Rookie of the Year

    Anderson likely won a spot in the rotation after his surprising performance as a rookie. He went 9-7 with a 4.01 ERA while winning his first five career starts. He was the first pitcher in MLB to accomplish this feat since 1998.

    At the back end, the flamethrower Rubby De La Rosa and Vidal Nuno should begin the season in the rotation. De La Rosa spent last season in Boston, where he went 4-8 with a 4.43 ERA. But he is young (26) and fresh, and his fastball can potentially reach around 100 mph.

    Nuno was winless last season with Arizona after coming over from the Yankees. However, his 3.76 ERA shows that his record was not indicative of how he actually pitched.


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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Bullpen (7): Addison Reed, Evan Marshall, Matt Reynolds, Oliver Perez, Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez, Matt Stites

    Addison Reed will open the season as the closer once again in 2015. Last season he struggled, blowing six saves and allowing 11 home runs. In a hitter-friendly ballpark, Reed will need to eliminate the long ball from his struggles if he is to keep the job.

    Middle relievers Evan Marshall, Matt Stites, Oliver Perez and Matt Reynolds will return to the bullpen. The lefty specialist Reynolds is coming off Tommy John surgery but should be healthy entering 2015.

    The setup men, Ziegler and Hernandez will be the X-factors. Ziegler was 5-3 with a 3.49 ERA and has been utilized more than any other D-Backs pitcher in the bullpen. Hernandez will return early in 2015 coming off Tommy John surgery as well.

    If he can return to the flamethrower he once was in Arizona, the back end of the bullpen will improve dramatically from the past two seasons.


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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Catchers (2): Tuffy Gosewisch and Peter O'Brien

    Gosewisch will likely open the season behind the plate for Arizona despite only hitting .225 with one home run last season in 41 games. That is because he is the only catcher on the roster with MLB experience. 

    However, Peter O'Brien has come on strong lately and could wrestle the job away sooner than later. O'Brien, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Martin Prado deal, hit 34 home runs last season playing in High-A and Double-A.

    That type of offensive power at the catcher position will be missing now that Miguel Montero is gone. If Gosewisch does not perform well offensively this spring, O'Brien should end up being the catcher of the future for the D-Backs. 


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