Diving into the depths: Arizona Diamondbacks

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Arizona Diamondbacks
Rotation
1. Dan Haren
2. Brandon Webb
3. Edwin Jackson
4. Ian Kennedy
5. Billy Buckner
6. Kevin Mulvey
7. Rodrigo Lopez
8. Bryan Augenstein
9. Barry Enright
10. Matt Torra
11. Cesar Valdez
The Diamondbacks should have the money to add one more pitcher, though whether it’ll be a fifth starter or another setup man remains to be seen. As is, I imagine Buckner would be the favorite in the competition with Mulvey and Lopez for the fifth spot. However, I’m not confident that any of the three would be adequate in that role. Considering that Webb and Kennedy are so far away from being sure things and there are no top prospects on the way — Jarrod Parker is out for the season following Tommy John surgery — adding a legitimate No. 5 should be a priority.
Bullpen
1. Chad Qualls
2. Juan Gutierrez
3. Bob Howry
4. Aaron Heilman
5. Clay Zavada
6. Blaine Boyer
7. Esmerling Vasquez
8. Billy Buckner
9. Zach Kroenke
10. Leo Rosales
11. Rodrigo Lopez
12. Daniel Stange
13. T.J. Beam
14. Roque Mercedes
15. Jose Marte
The bullpen lacks a true stud, but it contains four solid right-handers and plenty of potentially useful options after that. Bypassing Jose Valverde to sign Adam LaRoche and, hopefully, another rotation option was the sound strategy.


Catcher
1. Miguel Montero
2. Chris Snyder
3. John Hester
First base
1. Adam LaRoche
2. Mark Reynolds
3. Conor Jackson
4. Brandon Allen
5. Jeff Bailey
Second base
1. Kelly Johnson
2. Ryan Roberts
3. Tony Abreu
4. Rusty Ryal
Third base
1. Mark Reynolds
2. Ryan Roberts
3. Rusty Ryal
4. Tony Abreu
Shortstop
1. Stephen Drew
2. Augie Ojeda
3. Pedro Ciriaco
4. Tony Abreu
If Snyder gets traded this spring, then Hester figures to take over as Montero’s backup. It’s just too bad the Diamondbacks haven’t found a taker for his contract yet, since doing so would give them a lot more flexibility in adding a starting pitcher.
Left field
1. Conor Jackson
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Ryan Roberts
4. Cole Gillespie
5. Drew Macias
Center field
1. Chris Young
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Evan Frey
Right field
1. Justin Upton
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Ryan Roberts
4. Cole Gillespie
5. Drew Macias
The move to release Eric Byrnes would seem to clear the way for Parra to get 350-400 at-bats, even though he’ll open the season in a reserve role. It looks like Roberts and Ojeda will join Parra and the backup catcher on the bench. The Diamondbacks could still carry Abreu as their 25th man, since Roberts can serve as a fifth outfielder, but it’d make more sense to add another true outfielder and let Abreu play regularly in Triple-A.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.