News and rumblings from around the NL West…
- Josh Thole suffered a “significant” hamstring tear that Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo expects will sideline the catcher for the season, Lovullo told reporters (including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic). Thole is getting a second opinion on the injury and surgery is a possibility. The veteran catcher was in Arizona’s camp on a minor league deal battling for the backup role, though signs pointed to Thole starting the year at Triple-A.
- While the Giants have many homegrown stars on their roster, the team has been strangely unsuccessful in their attempts to draft and develop everyday outfielders, Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group writes. Marvin Benard (a 50th round pick in 1992), was the last Giants draftee to play as a full-time starting outfielder for more than one season. Part of the issue is that San Francisco has acquired so many notable outfielders in free agency and trades, ranging from Barry Bonds to Hunter Pence. “There are things that you do that de-emphasize young players at those outfield positions,” GM Bobby Evans said. “At the same time, I still think you should require opportunity for these guys to break through. It may be an area where we haven’t emphasized it as much because we’ve had other options from other sources. I just think it’s harder to patient sometimes with outfielders because there are so many other alternatives in terms of the free agent market and trades.” Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson are looking to break the “curse” as the two youngsters battle for the left field job this spring.
- The Padres have so many prospects in camp after their international spending splurge that some players (including highly-touted Cuban lefty Adrian Morejon) have been used in simulated games since they don’t have enough roster space for proper minor league games, ESPN’s Keith Law writes in his latest subscription-only piece. Law provides an in-person analysis of several Padres and Dodgers prospects, with particularly good reviews given to Morejon, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Dodgers righty Walker Buehler.