Predicting the D-backs' Opening Day roster

Predicting the D-backs' Opening Day roster

MESA, Ariz. -- Just before camp opened we took a stab at predicting what the D-backs' 25-man roster would look like come Opening Day.

While some things may be clearer now, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty, so remember this is only a prediction and with more than two weeks until the April 2 opener against the Giants, much can still change.

Catchers: Jeff Mathis, Chris Herrmann, Chris Iannetta

No changes here. The mystery is still how the playing time will be divided up, with D-backs manager Torey Lovullo saying the team is studying the matter.

First base: Paul Goldschmidt

Enough said.

Second base: Brandon Drury

Drury reported to camp lighter and more agile in order to play second. He's having another good spring with the bat and looks to be the starter come Opening Day.

Shortstop: Nick Ahmed/Chris Owings

Ketel Marte is the other competitor for the starting job, but it looks like it will come down to Ahmed and Owings. The D-backs have to find a way to get Owings' bat in the lineup and his ability to play the outfield, as well as second base, would make that a possibility even if Ahmed gets a lot of starts.

Third base: Jake Lamb

Lamb has raked thus far in the spring and is going to be the starter.

Utility infield: Daniel Descalso, Owings

Descalso could back up Goldschmidt at first base and also can play the other infield positions.

Starting outfield: Yasmany Tomas, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta

Backup outfielder: Gregor Blanco

A wild card here is if Tomas' strained oblique does not improve. He has been out since March 6 and started the spring 0-for-17. That could open the door for Owings or Blanco to play more and for Jeremy Hazelbaker to make the team. Socrates Brito is no longer an option after injuring his left ring finger.

Starting pitchers: Zack Greinke, Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin

Archie Bradley has pitched well at times this spring and is still in the mix, but it's hard to see him unseating the others right now.

Bullpen: Fernando Rodney, Randall Delgado, Andrew Chafin, Jorge De La Rosa, J.J. Hoover, Tom Wilhelmsen and Tyler Jones

This is still the hardest part of the team to predict. Jake Barrett is not on the list because the team is taking things slow with him since a sore shoulder delayed his throwing at the start of camp. The competition is still wide open, and you could flip out several names for this exercise.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.