The Diamondbacks claimed relief pitcher J.D. Durbin off waivers from the Minnesota Twins yesterday. To make room for him on the 40 man roster, the Diamondbacks designated Dave Krynzel for assignment.
I had just been talking about how Dave Krynzel should be on the Opening Day roster with Carlos Quentin and Jeff DaVanon starting the season on the DL. Quentin tweaked his shoulder in a minor-league game yesterday, delaying his comeback. Krynzel had a strong spring by the numbers, but on Wednesday the Diamondbacks claimed outfielder Jeff Salazar off waivers from the Rockies. He is expected to make the team with both Quentin and Jeff DaVanon on the DL for the start of the season.
Salazar is a left-handed hitter who made his major-league debut in September of last year, getting 53 at-bats. He batted .283, with an on-base percentage of .409 and a slugging percentage of .415. He had one homer and eight RBI, stole two bases without getting caught and had 11 bases-on-balls and 16 strikeouts. The on-base percentage and the strikeout-to-walk ratio are probably the reasons the Diamondbacks claimed Salazar. If those two stats are indicative of his type of production, we can expect to see Salazar leading off. Salazar is listed as a centerfielder. So I still think Chris Young is in trouble. If nothing else, we might see a platoon in center if BoMel wants left-handed bats in the lineup.
As long as Quentin is out of the lineup, it is likely that Eric Byrnes will play right. I know he’d say he doesn’t care where he plays as long as he plays. But the hard truth is that right field is not a good position for Byrnesie. He can catch the ball there as well as any other place, but he doesn’t have the arm strength of the good rightfielder. He’s better off in center, where the centerfielder’s right-of-way works with his kamikaze fielding style. He also has more experience and easier throws out of left field than right. But he’s the most flexible outfielder of the bunch. These rookies seem to be only good in one place. So the veteran Byrnes takes one for the team by playing right field. Remember that before any of you criticize his arm in right.