Spring Training Job Battles: The Games Begin
Spring Training Job Battles: The Games Begin

This article is part of our Spring Training Job Battles series.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Catcher

The Diamondbacks rotated through three catchers last season, and while the cast has changed a bit this year, the plan remains the same. Carson Kelly came over from St. Louis in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. He brings a decent amount of prospect hype and looks to be the long-term solution at the position, but he's hit just .154/.227/.188 in 131 major-league plate appearances thus far, so he'll have to earn his at-bats. Alex Avila returns after a miserable first season in Arizona in which he hit .165/.299/.304 while striking out 38.5 percent of the time. Now 32 years old and without much of a defensive reputation, his case for an expanded role is a weak one. John Ryan Murphy was better than Avila last season but still far from good, hitting just .202/.244/.375. He'll be battling Caleb Joseph for the third catcher spot. The 32-year-old is a backup at best and hit just .219/.254/.321 for the Orioles last season.

Fifth starter

Merrill Kelly is a wild card as a 30-year-old with no big league experience. He's been out of affiliated baseball since 2014 but posted good numbers in four seasons with the SK Wyverns in Korea, recording a 3.86 ERA in a high-offense environment. Matt Koch was competent enough in 14 starts and five relief appearances for the Diamondbacks last season, finishing with a 4.15 ERA, though he benefited from some batted-ball and strand-rate luck. Matt Andriese is in the picture as well. Taijuan Walker could eventually

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Halterman
Erik Halterman is an MLB staff writer at RotoWire and the winner of the staff's 2018 RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship.
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