Shipley's Opening Day role still unknown

Right-hander threw 1 1/3 innings against A's on Friday

Shipley's Opening Day role still unknown

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As a sign the D-backs could be leaning toward sliding Braden Shipley to the bullpen, the right-hander threw 1 1/3 innings in Friday's split-squad win over the A's in Mesa.

It was Shipley's shortest outing this spring. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said earlier in Spring Training that a bullpen role could be in Shipley's future if he didn't make the rotation to start the season.

Lovullo said on Saturday that he wasn't committed one direction or the other, though.

"It was planned. It was to get him one-plus," Lovullo said Shipley's latest appearance. "We feel like he still could be stretched out as a starter. It was just the need for the day. He'd still be fine getting stretched out.

"We're still examining all the starters. I know the door is closing quickly. We're going to have to start to make some decisions, but there's still more time for these guys to throw, and we're still evaluating."

Worth noting

• Right-handers Jake Barrett (shoulder) and Rubby De La Rosa (elbow) and left-hander Steve Hathaway (shoulder) each threw a bullpen session on Saturday morning and each came out feeling good, according to Lovullo.

"Everything was very encouraging and we're excited about those guys feeling the way they did," Lovullo said.

• Center fielder A.J. Pollock (left groin) will serve as the designated hitter in a Minor League game later this week before returning to Cactus League action. Pollock left the D-backs' March 11 game after feeling what he later described as a "cramp" in his left groin during a home run trot.

Pollock missed the final month of last season with a left groin strain.

• Left fielder Yasmany Tomas will ramp up his progression in his recovery from an oblique strain in the coming days but "is not doing any baseball activity yet," Lovullo said.

Tomas last played in a game March 6 and is 0-for-17 this spring.

• Catcher Josh Thole, in camp as a non-roster invitee, will miss the season after he suffered a tear to his hamstring that could require surgery. Thole will seek a second option.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.