Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 3/2/12
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With very limited opportunities to pitch, Diamondbacks left-hander Mike Zagurski has flown under the radar since being acquired last September. And while the general consensus is that Craig Breslow and Joe Paterson will be the left-handers in the D-backs' bullpen this season, Kevin Towers made it clear Friday that Zagurski will contend for a spot this spring. As always, roster retention could factor into the decision. Zagurski is out of options, while Paterson is not. "(Zagurski) is definitely going to have a chance to make the club. Hes out of options, and with left-handed relief as scarce as it is, hes probably a guy who wouldnt get through waivers if he didnt make (the 25-man roster out of spring training)," Towers said. "Well get a lot of looks at him this spring. We dont have a lot of left-handed options. If he pitches well enough to make this club and pushes one of those other guys out, so be it." Zagurski, 29, has made 37 major league appearances in three seasons, all with the Phillies, and is 1-0 with a 6.82 ERA. Paterson was 0-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 62 appearances as a rookie after being selected from the Giants in the Rule 5 draft in the winter of 2011. "I understand they have a pretty good idea of what they are trying to do, but I am going to come in here and do what I can," Zagurski said. LET THE GAMES BEGIN Trevor Bauer and Josh Collmenter are scheduled to start the D-backs' spring training openers Saturday, with Bauer pitching against Colorado at Salt River Fields and Collmenter against San Francisco at Scottsdale Stadium. Both games are to start at 1:05 p.m. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs, a top prospect, was scratched from his scheduled Saturday start against Colorado after feeling soreness in the front portion of his left shoulder, although manager Kirk Gibson stressed that there are no injury concerns and said Skaggs is scheduled to throw a bullpen session again Sunday. "He wanted to throw. Were not going to do that. Its really us," Gibson said, referring to the team being cautions. "And I think you all understand why." D-BACKS NOTES Towers said he will spend a lot more time on the back fields this spring evaluating the minor league system than he did last year. "Just getting a good feel of who we have in the pipeline," he said. Towers identified outfielder Marc Krauss as a player who has lost weight and appears very focused this spring. ... Towers said he also is looking forward to seeing how many of the young players handle themselves in games, noting that Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra became starters after their work in spring training last year and that seven players who started the 2011 year in the minors joined the D-backs later in the season. "Im not about sending a message to these kids that they have no chance. I want them to show what they can do, force our hand and make decisions tough at the end of spring," Towers said. ... The D-backs talked with teams over the winter about young catching prospects and will be keeping an eye on some of the Class AA and AAA catchers during the summer season, Towers said. The D-backs consider themselves thin at that position, and they obviously would be a lot thinner if Miguel Montero leaves via free agency. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
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