Notes: D-Backs set roster, or do they?
Club might have some maneuvering planned
PHOENIX -- The Diamondbacks set their 25-man roster on Saturday, but reading between the lines, it certainly wasn't set in stone.
Early in the day, the club announced that Casey Daigle had been assigned to Minor League camp, meaning that Greg Aquino won the final spot in the bullpen.
"It was a tough conversation to have with Casey," manager Bob Melvin said.
Aquino, who spent some time talking before Saturday's exhibition game with the Yankees with former teammate Randy Johnson, spent the last few days anxiously waiting to hear if he was going to make the club.
"It feels great," he said. "I'm very happy. I've worked very hard."
Then, after the game, the club assigned infielder Jerry Gil to its Minor League camp, meaning that Andy Green, who was the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player last year, won one of the two backup infielder spots.
After Arizona dealt Alex Cintron to the White Sox earlier in the month, Green became the favorite to win the job, but Gil hit .385 during the spring with five homers to make the decision a tough one.
"Opening Day is sort of emotional and important, and I think Andy has earned it longer," Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said. "He's a PCL MVP last year. As stiff as the competition was, Andy played well, too, and won the job."
The only other question that remained with the roster was what the club would do with catcher Koyie Hill, who was out of Minor League options. Hill was not slated to make the club, with the D-Backs deciding to go with Johnny Estrada and Chris Snyder.
However, the 25-man roster the Diamondbacks planned to submit to Major League Baseball by the 10 p.m. MT deadline included Hill.
Given that veteran lefty Terry Mulholland, a non-roster invitee, was not on that version of the roster, it stands to reason that what the Diamondbacks are likely to do is designate Hill for assignment on Sunday and purchase Mulholland's contract. That would give Arizona a maximum of 10 days to either release, trade or outright Hill to Triple-A. Should they choose to outright him he would have to clear waivers, and with other teams having set their 25-man rosters by then, he conceivably would have less of a chance of being claimed than he would have had they decided to do so on Saturday.
In the final two roster moves, as expected the club assigned outfielder Carlos Quentin to Minor League camp and decided to put reliever Brandon Medders on the disabled list retroactive to March 24, which means he can be activated as soon as April 8.
Medders pitched one inning during a Minor League outing on Saturday and is scheduled to throw another one on Tuesday.
Sneak peek: Fans in attendance on Saturday got a look at what the Diamondbacks' Opening Day lineup will look like on Monday, except of course for the starting pitcher: Craig Counsell (SS), Orlando Hudson (2B), Chad Tracy (3B), Luis Gonzalez (LF), Conor Jackson (1B), Shawn Green (RF), Estrada (C) and Eric Byrnes (CF).
Silver lining: Though a player never likes to be cut for any reason, Daigle can certainly take some solace in how much he rose in the eyes of Arizona's brass during the spring.
The right-hander went from a non-roster afterthought to someone who could be one of the first relievers called up if need be.
"He passed a lot of guys by," Melvin said. "[I tried] to impress upon him that he's got to feel good about that. Having said that, you are where you are, you feel like you've made it and then you have that conversation, I'm sure it's a disappointment."
Getting there: Miguel Batista allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings on Saturday in his final tuneup for the season.
Batista had been set back a bit by throwing only 3 1/3 innings while at the World Baseball Classic for nearly three weeks, but is now on target to be able to throw at least 90 pitches in his first regular-season start.
"Honestly, I think I'm still a little off," he said. "I can tell you one thing, though, I believe the team is [ready]."
Sitting out: The Diamondbacks will be without the services of third-base coach Carlos Tosca during the first road trip of the year. Tosca, who broke a bone in his right foot early in March, will be replaced by Triple-A Tucson manager Chip Hale.
Since the opposing team would have to OK the D-Backs having an extra coach on the bench, Tosca will likely be forced to watch the games from the clubhouse.
That means bench coach Jay Bell will take over Tosca's duties positioning the infielders on defense.
Up next: The D-Backs will leave for Colorado on Sunday, where they will have a workout before opening the season against the Rockies on Monday.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.