• This week I want to look at a few more roster spots and everyday roles that I don’t think are completely locked down.

    In no particular order, let’s start with the Diamondbacks’ bullpen. Mark Melancon was recently placed on the 60-Day IL and it has been announced that Drey Jameson is moving to the rotation. Were the latter not the case, I’d likely have considered him in line for some key late inning appearances. As it is, let’s say, Scott McGough, Andrew Chafin, and Joe Mantiply (currently on the 15-Day IL himself) are all rostered and you’re looking ahead for saves. Let me suggest you consider picking up Carlos Vargas and/or Justin Martinez.

    But first, note that McGough hasn’t carried his Spring stats forward, albeit only in 2.2 innings. Even so, he’s still sitting on 1 loss and 11 plus ERA. Chafin on the other hand has been stellar and when he signed with the Diamondbacks, I immediately guessed it was to serve as the team’s stopper, if not the closer exactly. Chafin is unscored upon in 4 outings and has almost 2 strikeouts per inning. But he’s left-handed and the Diamondbacks after a three 2023 series, a home/road tandem with the Dodgers, sandwiched around a two-game set in San Diego, are in first place in the NL West.

    Yep, first place with a 6 and 4 record and plenty of youth, speed, and chutzpah to keep it energized. My point is they may want to use Chafin as a high-leverage reliever, and tab someone else for the steadier ninth inning role. I’m not sure McGough is that guy for a winning squad. If my doubts are shared by the DBacks brain trust, then maybe Vargas or Martinez gets the nod.

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