The latest from the NL West…
- The Diamondbacks will use Greg Holland as their closer, Torey Lovullo told reporters (including the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro) today. The veteran reliever didn’t exactly impress during Spring Training, posting a 12.27 ERA over 3 2/3 IP, yet Lovullo said the D’Backs made their decision based in part on Holland’s past closing experience. Also, with Holland at closer, it frees Arizona to use Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano either as setup men or perhaps in other high-leverge situations earlier in games. Holland is trying for a rebound year following a 2018 that saw him get off a rough start with the Cardinals, before somewhat righting the ship in the Nationals’ bullpen down the stretch. He signed a one-year, $3.25MM contract with the D’Backs this winter, and Holland can more than double that total with $3.5MM available in incentives.
- The newly-acquired Erik Kratz will be the Giants’ backup catcher, manager Bruce Bochy told NBC Sports’ Alex Pavlovic and other media. This doesn’t necessarily mean that rookie Aramis Garcia will be sent down to Triple-A, as Bochy said the club is still thinking about carrying three catchers early in the year to account for Buster Posey’s recovery from hip surgery last summer. As Pavlovic notes, however, keeping Garcia would create a bit of a roster crunch if the Giants stick with their plan of carrying 13 pitchers.
- Bryan Shaw’s first season with the Rockies was a tough one, as the veteran reliever struggled to a 5.93 ERA over 54 2/3 innings. This led to an offseason devoted to correcting Shaw’s mechanics, The Athletic’s Nick Groke writes (subscription required), which included discovering and correcting a flaw in the right-hander’s delivery, as well as a new strengthening program to keep Shaw’s shoulder in good condition. While Shaw got off to a rough start in Spring Training as these changes took hold, he can begun to show better form in recent outings. The Rockies are sorely in need of a bounce-back year from Shaw (not to mention Jake McGee and Mike Dunn) in order to reinforce a bullpen that lost Adam Ottavino to free agency.