Notes from Monday’s game
For those on the roster bubble for the D-backs, it’s going to be a tense few days.
Manager A.J. Hinch said some of the team’s final decisions may not be made until the end of the week.
“It’ll probably be Saturday which is tough,” Hinch said. “It’s tough on the players, it’s tough on the staff, but it’s reality. Shaping a big league roster is difficult. Things can change on a daily basis.”
Of course, it’s always possible that the D-backs will either make a deal or claim someone on waivers before setting their roster for the regular season. It sounds, though, like if the D-backs do acquire someone it will be a pitcher and not a hitter.
“I wouldn’t anticipate that,” Hinch said when asked if the final spot on the bench could be someone not currently in the organization. “Could it change? Sure, but it would surprise me if it was outside the organization.”
BUCKNER PITCHES WELL, MULVEY STRUGGLES: It sure seems like Rodrigo Lopez has claimed the fourth spot in the rotation, but Hinch has not been ready to say that yet.
“We’ll deal with it when we have to,” Hinch said when asked if the rotation picture became any clearer Monday. “There’s no daily updates so to speak. These guys are all on pins and needles trying to figure out how this last week is going to go.”
The other two contenders — Billy Buckner and Kevin Mulvey — pitched Monday night against the Padres in Peoria with different results.
Mulvey started and allowed eight runs (three earned) on six hits in lasting just two innings. Five of the runs were unearned thanks to a throwing error by Mark Reynolds at third. He walked three and did not strike anyone out.
“It wasn’t a very good start,” Hinch said. “He battled himself early, the walks were the achilles heel tonight.”
Buckner followed Mulvey to the mound and allowed one hit and a pair of walks while striking out four over four innings.
“I thought towards the end of his outing his tempo was good and his stuff got better,” Hinch said of Buckner. “He was pitching a little bit up tonight which is never good for him.”
The one hit was a homer by Will Venable, a two-run shot on a two-seam fastball.
“That was much better,” said Buckner, who had struggled in his last two outings. “I took a very aggressive approach today.”
The D-backs will start the season with just four starters and add a fifth on April 17.