03/16/09 8:30 PM ET
D-backs trim their roster by eight
Skipper Melvin has positive words for each player sent to Minors
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, infielder Rusty Ryal, right-handers Jose Marte, Cesar Valdez and Kyler Newby along with lefties Leyson Septimo, Clay Zavada and Daniel Schlereth were sent over to Minor League camp.
Ciriaco, Marte, Newby and Zavada were optioned to Double-A Mobile while Septimo was optioned to Class A Visalia and Valdez to Triple-A Tucson.
Schlereth and Ryal are not on the 40-man roster and therefore were just assigned to Minor League camp.
The extended spring schedule this year afforded D-backs manager Bob Melvin a longer than usual look at the team's younger players. Here's what he had to say about each of the players that were cut:
Ciriaco: "I think he has a chance to be an everyday Major League shortstop at some point in his career. He can hit, he runs, terrific fielder. He'll throw some balls away, but it's because of the fact that he can get to quite a few balls. He'll learn to control it a little bit the farther up he goes."
Marte: "Is a guy we had just acquired last year so I wasn't too familiar with him. Just looking at some of his numbers and watching some of his bullpens, the thing I was most concerned about with him was throwing the ball over the plate and it's been just the opposite. If you look at him, he kind of reminds you of Jose Valverde and has the repertoire as well and good stuff so he impressed quite a bit this camp."
Newby: "Is a guy that didn't have good outings the last couple, but his first three were really good. Had a chance to see him at Chase Field before we came down here and he's a guy that really impressed myself and [pitching coach] Bryan Price likes him quite a bit. For some reason his velocity was a little bit down the last couple of outings and I think that affects his breaking stuff as well."
Ryal: "Rusty didn't get a whole lot of at-bats for us. He just needs to go down there and play. He wasn't given enough at-bats -- a guy that needs to work on his all-around game. He's a grinder."
Schlereth: "He can strike people out, he can miss bats. He's a guy that once he understands his mechanics real well, throw the ball a little more consistently where he wants to he'll be able to get big league hitters out."
Septimo: "Is a guy that just started pitching, converted position player, terrific arm, throws up to 97 mph. Still kind of learning his craft as a pitcher, still learning how to throw breaking balls, has the plus fastball so he just needs to develop some more."
Valdez: "Really had a good camp for us and showed why he was our Pitcher of the Year last year. Came as advertised. Worked his butt off during camp. We would have liked to have kept him around a little bit longer, but he needs to get stretched out for the season."
Zavada: "You look at the numbers he put up last year [in 35 1/3 innings at Class A South Bend he allowed just six hits and fanned 54] when I first got them I actually thought they were a typo. A very polished young man that handled himself very well in camp and put himself on the map as a left-handed reliever. Who knows, maybe this year, next year, depending on needs and help."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.