This decision was something of a no-brainer, but according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Russell Branyan will be on the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster.
Branyan, who could have opted out of his minor league contract yesterday, is batting .420 (21-for-50) with four home runs, three doubles and 17 RBI this spring.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson likes what he’s seeing from his new slugger, but he isn’t ready to say where Branyan will fit in his lineup.
“Haven’t determined that yet,” he said. “(Branyan) may, he may not (get his share of starts). I don’t know what to tell you about how the mix will go.”
The most likely scenario is that Branyan will share at-bats with Juan Miranda at first base. Brandon Allen, who has options remaining, could be sent to Triple-A Reno.
Branyan, 35, batted .237/.323/.487 with 25 homers and 57 RBI over 428 plate appearances between the Indians and Mariners last season. Assuming he can stay healthy, he’s going to enjoy life in Chase Field.