Nieves and Barajas battling for backup role

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With Miguel Montero expected to miss time this spring to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, the D-backs will have plenty of opportunities to get a look at their backup catchers.

The battle to be Montero's backup is led by Wil Nieves and Rod Barajas.

"It's wide open," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Nieves was Montero's backup the latter part of last season after Henry Blanco went down with an injury.

Barajas, who was initially signed by the D-backs in 1996, played for Arizona from 1999 through 2003 and was signed as a free agent last weekend.

The team also has four non-roster catchers in camp in Ed Easley, Tuffy Gosewisch, Rosmel Perez and Mark Reed.