Diamondbacks' roster nearly set, but questions remain at shortstop

Diamondbacks' roster nearly set, but questions remain at shortstop

Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks' roster nearly set, but questions remain at shortstop

As the Diamondbacks packed up and moved out of Salt River Fields on Tuesday, their roster continued to come into focus. They added a pair of relievers. They sent down a shortstop. They dropped hints about how their rotation will be deployed.

But with four days before the start of the season, the Diamondbacks still have some decisions to make when it comes to their roster construction, though most of the heavy lifting appears to be complete.

Perhaps the most significant decision announced Tuesday was a sort of non-decision. Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte have been engaged in a three-headed competition at shortstop, but after Marte was optioned to Triple-A Reno on Tuesday morning, manager Torey Lovullo did not declare a winner.

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Instead, he suggested that Owings and Ahmed will both see time, though hinted at the possibility of an everyday-ish player emerging.

“I’m not going to define the playing time there,” Lovullo said. “I know that we talked about there being a competition. We know that both guys are on the team. I’m still going to sort through that road map and figure out that playing time and that situation.”

He also pointed to Owings’ versatility – he has been seeing time in right field in recent weeks – a comment that seems to suggest a platoon of sorts at shortstop. In his career, Ahmed has fared better against left-handed pitching, against whom Owings could shift to right field to replace the left-handed hitting David Peralta.

“You’re going to probably see somebody trending towards playing every day (at shortstop),” Lovullo said, “but by no means will either guy be a backup consistently sitting on the bench.”

To read more of Nick Piecoro’s story, click here.

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