D-backs set NL Wild Card roster vs. Rockies, Mathis included
Oct 4, 2017, 10:24 AM | Updated: 2:06 pm
(AP Photo/Matt York)
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ finalized their National League Wild Card roster Wednesday morning, leaving recovering shortstop Chris Owings (finger) off the 25-man list to face the Colorado Rockies.
Arizona will carry 10 pitchers, seven infielders, five outfielders and three catchers.
Among the notable inclusions are Jeff Mathis, who was recovering from a hand injury and presumably will catch starter Zack Greinke. The D-backs are also carrying Chris Iannetta and Chris Herrmann as backups.
“It’s hard. Both of them want to catch, both of them deserve to catch,” manager Torey Lovullo said of Mathis and Iannetta. “But it was my decision that the relationship that Zack had with Jeff the majority of the season was my priority. I felt like he was going to be able to work a little bit more effectively and efficiently with Zack.”
Late-season call-ups in infielder Kristopher Negron and pitcher Jimmie Sherfy also made the Wild Card roster.
— Pitchers: Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin, Zack Godley, Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, David Hernandez, Jorge De La Rosa, Jimmie Sherfy, Fernando Rodney
— Infielders: Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, Ketel Marte, Brandon Drury, Kristopher Negron, Adam Rosales, Daniel Descalso
— Outfielders: J.D. Martinez, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta, Rey Fuentes, Gregor Blanco
— Catchers: Jeff Mathis, Chris Iannetta, Chris Herrmann
Sherfy, a rookie, appeared in 11 games and allowed five hits and no runs with two walks and nine strikeouts in 10.2 innings. A workout on Tuesday confirmed he was healthy, as did a conversation with Lovullo.
The 31-year-old Negron played in 14 games and recorded four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks in 25 at-bats. His defensive versatility gave him the nod, Lovullo said.
” I think the thing that set it apart for me was when he walked off the mound, typically I’ll have about a three or four-minute conversation, and he looked me square in the eye and said, I want the ball. For me that cinched it up right there.”
Arizona can reset its 25-man roster if it punches a ticket to the NLDS with a win Wednesday.
Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker was left off the roster, but the D-backs will carry their other four starting pitchers, three of whom will come out of the bullpen.
“It’s really second and third scenarios during the course of the game,” general manager Mike Hazen said Wednesday morning on Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “(Former Cubs director of pro scouting and current D-backs assistant GM) Jared Porter, we were talking about the other day: all (the Cubs’) planning they had done for the Wild Card Game a few years ago and then (Jake) Arrieta goes out and throws a complete game.
“The game like last night (in the AL Wild Card Game) could happen where your starter gets bounced in the first inning because it is an elimination game. You have to attack this game differently than any other game in the regular season.”
Lovullo said Owings had time “run out for C.O. to give us the answers we needed” to make the roster Tuesday, though Owings said “everything went well” in prior workouts.
“It’s their decision and their call,” Owings said. “I feel good. Just keep making little steps every day. Just see where it goes.”
On Tuesday, Hazen said much of the roster construction was left to Lovullo with the front office’s input helping guide him toward final decisions.
“One of the things we’re trying to keep in mind is we’re not managing the game.
“Torey’s managing the game. And we want to be able to — I think the majority of our questions or our input to the roster has focused on the questioning of how do you envision using this guy versus that guy versus this, and managing that game. We want to add input, if possible, to help in making that decision.”
Here is the Rockies’ 25-man roster.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) October 4, 2017
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The 2017 National League Wild Card Game gets underway just after 5 p.m., and you can hear the action on 98.7 FM.