PHOENIX -- Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson revealed his Opening Day roster Wednesday morning with no major surprises, though Takashi Saito's calf injury shook things up a bit in the bullpen.
Saito (medial right calf strain) will open the season on the 15-day disabled list after suffering the injury Tuesday, opening up a spot in the bullpen for Wade Miley. Miley, who started seven games in the majors last year, will serve as a long reliever while starters get stretched out a bit more.
Other than that spot everything about the roster, which was submitted to Major League Baseball Wednesday morning, was as expected when spring training began. There was some suggestion that young left-hander Patrick Corbin might have a shot at the rotation as Josh Collmenter slogged through a rough spring, but Gibson said Tuesday his rotation was unchanged. Corbin, along with fellow prospect Tyler Skaggs, was optioned to Double-A Mobile after Tuesday's game.
There was also some belief the D-backs might try to find a place in the bullpen for left-handed reliever Mike Zagurski after he allowed just three runs in 10 13 innings this spring, but he was outrighted Wednesday to Triple-A Reno after clearing waivers. The team also reassigned catcher Ryan Budde, infielder Cody Ransom and outfielder A.J. Pollock to Reno.
It was also announced Wednesday that shortstop Stephen Drew will open the year on the 15-day D.L. It was known he would start on the D.L., but it wasn't clear yet if it would be the 15-day or 60-day, though Gibson said there is still no timetable for his return as he rehabs a fractured ankle. He'll likely miss at least a month.
Drew and Saito's respective returns will force the D-backs to make space somehow, but for now the 25-man roster is as follows:
Starting pitchers: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Cahill, Joe Saunders (L).
Relief pitchers: Wade Miley (L), Craig Breslow (L), Joe Paterson (L), Brad Ziegler, Bryan Shaw, David Hernandez, J.J. Putz.
Catchers: Miguel Montero, Henry Blanco.
Infielders: Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Willie Bloomquist, Ryan Roberts, Geoff Blum, John McDonald, Lyle Overbay.
Outfielders: Justin Upton, Chris Young, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra.
OPENING DAY FESTIVITIES
With the 2012 season and pursuit of a World Series about to get underway, the D-backs have a few matters to wrap up from 2011. As part of Opening Day festivities Friday, the D-backs will unveil their 2011 NL West Champions icon below the panels in left field, the team announced Wednesday.
The D-backs also have some awards to hand out before Ian Kennedy throws the first pitch. Gibson will receiver his NL Manager of the Year award from general manager Kevin Towers while Parra will receive his Gold Glove Award. Upton and Hudson will receive their Silver Slugger awards.
The Territorial Cup rivalry will take to the mound as University of Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez and Arizona State coach Todd Graham, both new to their positions, will throw out ceremonial first pitches. Arizona native Drew Ryniewicz, 14, of "X-Factor" fame will sing the National Anthem.
KUBEL FIGURING OUT CHASE
With the pair of exhibition games at Chase Field, the D-backs started settling into their home digs for the regular season. With most of the 2011 team back, it was a familiar setting for most but not Jason Kubel, the D-backs' new left fielder and one of four players acquired in the offseason.
Kubel will have a little more adjusting to do than fellow newcomers Craig Breslow, Trevor Cahill and Takashi Saito. They're all pitchers. Kubel will be playing left field nearly every day. He played three games at Chase Field last season, collecting four hits in 14 at-bats, including a home run.
"I've got to take these next couple days to try to figure this place out," Kubel said. "I played right field here last year and I'm going to be playing left so I've got to just see how the ball goes out in that left field corner."
Kubel went hitless in Tuesday's game, but drove two balls deep to the outfield. He collected two hits Wednesday, including an RBI single in the D-backs' big fifth inning.
The expectation is that Kubel will benefit from hitting at Chase Field, typically considered a hitter-friendly park where the ball really flies. Kubel's power should also play well in the spacious outfield gaps.
"One of the reasons I came over here was I felt like I could see the ball here very well," Kubel said. "I'm looking forward to that. I feel that will help out quite a bit."
Kubel batted .254 (15-for-59) this spring with a .297 on-base percentage, nine RBIs and three home runs. He said he'd be concerned hitting at such a low rate if it were July, but knows a slow spring does not mean a slow season. He feels he's getting comfortable at just the right time.
Kubel also said spring training is ending at the right time or perhaps a little later than most players might like. Many players feel spring training is just a bit too long, and Kubel says the D-backs are ready for the routine of the regular season as well as the pursuit of a World Series.
"The first couple weeks of spring are fun and exciting, but then it starts to just wear on you a little bit," Kubel said. "The last couple days you can feel it. I think we're all pretty pumped and excited. It's going to be a real fun year."
THAT'S A WRAP
The D-backs closed the book on another spring training Wednesday with a 14-3 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field. They finish the spring 15-18-2, a slight improvement over last season's 12-25.
Bloomquist used his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot in the third inning, to give the D-backs a 2-0 lead. Upton singled in the inning and scored on a fielder's choice. The Brewers tied things up in the fourth inning when Ryan Braun doubled and scored on an Aramis Ramirez single before Corey Hart homered.
The D-backs then broke the game wide open with a seven-run fifth inning. It all started with a Bloomquist single and ended with him driving in a run on a sacrifice fly. Bloomquist finished the day with three hits and three RBIs.
Lefty Joe Saunders started and allowed three runs on five hits over five innings in a final spring tune up. He said afterward he was happy with the outing and was ready to be done with spring training.
"My goal out there was really to approach it as a regular season start," Saunders said. "Once it gets to this time, you're always ready to get going. We're all excited to get going. Enough of this spring training stuff."
The team doesnt put a whole lot of stock in spring results, and last year's spring finish showed exhibition results don't exactly translate to the regular season, but Gibson feels good about what his team accomplished this spring.
"We're all happy to have spring training over," Gibson said. "We did a lot of work. The guys were actually better at the preparation part than we were in the games. We had energy every day, we did it right and we were relentless in the things that we did.
"We have confidence because of what happened last year (in spring training), but at the same time we realize nothing's going to be handed to us."
D-backs third base coach Matt Williams watched from his post just outside the infield as his son, D-backs prospect Jake Williams, drove in two runs on a fifth-inning double Wednesday. The D-backs will get in one last workout Thursday before the season begins. Gibson said Drew will be put through some tests soon to see how he reacts to game situations. Should he fare well in those, he'll likely play in an extended spring training game at Salt River Fields soon. Gibson said Drew would likely remain with the team through the end of the week before heading back to the spring complex.