Reliever Mickolio earns spot in bullpen

Reliever Mickolio earns spot in bullpen

Reliever Mickolio earns spot in bullpen
PHOENIX - The D-backs' roster has been finalized.

Kam Mickolio earned a spot in the bullpen and reliever Esmerling Vasquez has been optioned to Triple-A. Left-handed reliever Joe Paterson was told that he made the team Wednesday morning.

Left-handed pitcher Zach Duke and infielder Geoff Blum will start the season on the disabled list. The club also released pitcher Carlos Rosa in order to sell the player to Japan.

The D-backs are also pondering their options at shortstop if starter Stephen Drew, who is day to day because of an abdominal strain, is not available for Friday's regular season opener against Colorado. It appears that Willie Bloomquist is the front-runner, especially when you consider that Tony Abreu cleared waivers and was optioned to Triple-A. Ryan Roberts can also play shortstop.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he expects J.J. Putz, who has been slowed by a stiff back this spring, to be ready to close if needed on Friday. Putz pitched back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday for the first time this spring.

As for Mickolio, he was called into Gibson's office following Tuesday's game against Monterrey and given the news by D-backs general manager Kevin Towers.

"I'm just going to go out there and compete," Mickolio said. "We'll have to minimize walks because walks are huge coming from the bullpen. We'll pick each other up and deal with each situation as it is presented to us."

Roberts, who hit .509 this spring, was also told that he made the club on Tuesday night, while Brandon Allen was sent down to Triple-A. Juan Miranda and Russell Branyan will share the duties at first base for the D-backs.

Roberts was pleased with the news but is not satisfied. He blames himself for a subpar year last season. In 2009, he hit .279 in 110 games for the D-backs. He hit .197 in 36 big league games in 2010.

"They treat you like a king here and when you come from nothing like me, you get complacent and big-headed," Roberts said. "That's not going to happen anymore. Every player has a story or their "thing" that you get past, and 2010 was my "thing." I'm going to stay consistent with my approach and the numbers will come."