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Position players seem set, but time will tell

Position players seem set, but time will tell

Position players seem set, but time will tell
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Friday was technically the day that D-backs position players had to report. But in reality, all had done so by Thursday.

Saturday will be the first full-squad workout, and much like the pitching staff, the position-player roster seems pretty well set -- barring injuries or something completely unexpected.

"We've still got a little over a month of baseball, and a lot of things can happen," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "You hope that you stay healthy and it becomes a very tough decision at the end of Spring Training, when you have too many good players for 25 spots. But I've been in this game long enough to know that a lot of stuff happens in Spring Training. You end [up] looking at yourself on paper thinking this is the way it's going to work out, and come the first week in April, it isn't that way."

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The biggest wild card is whether or not shortstop Stephen Drew will be recovered enough from last season's ankle surgery to be on the Opening Day roster.

Competition was the big theme of the 2011 camp, and Towers and manager Kirk Gibson do not want players thinking that there is nothing at stake in this camp.

"I'm just aware that things could change," Gibson said of the way his roster looks. "That changes all the time. It's a puzzle that we try to put together and make it look like a good picture."

With those disclaimers in mind, here's how the roster shakes out right now:

Catchers:

Locks: Miguel Montero and Henry Blanco
Summary: It seems the only change here would come via injury, as the D-backs were pleased with this tandem last year.

Infielders:

Locks: Willie Bloomquist, Drew, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, John McDonald and Ryan Roberts
On the bubble: Geoff Blum and Lyle Overbay
Summary: It all hinges on whether Drew is ready for Opening Day. If he is, then there seems to be one too many infielders -- and it would seem a decision would come down to either Blum or Overbay.

If Drew is not ready for Opening Day, then it would seem that both Blum and Overbay would be on the roster.

Additional depth for the position can be found in non-roster invitees Rusty Ryal and Cody Ransom. It's worth noting that Roberts was on the bubble last year, and despite leading the Majors in Spring Training batting average, he likely would not have made the Opening Day roster if Blum had not injured his knee.

Outfielders:

Locks: Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, Justin Upton and Chris Young
Summary: Again, this looks like a pretty set group, with Cole Gillespie and David Winfree among those on the 40-man roster who could provide depth, and prospects like A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton on the horizon.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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