Over the last week the Arizona Diamondbacks begun tweaking their roster. Not in a wholesale massive way but rather by adjusting the player mix one small step at a time. Many Diamondbacks fans will look at each of these moves and question whether they are actually making the team better or just shuffling like a three-card Monte game.
In the first deal the Diamondbacks sent minor league pitcher Scottie Allen to the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league first baseman Juan Miranda. Allen was the Diamondbacks 11th round draft choice in the 2009 amateur draft. He spent two seasons in the Diamondbacks minor leagues. In 2010 Allen played for the Class-A South Bend Silverhawks where he compiled a 5-4 record including 95 strikeouts in 28 games and a 3.95 ERA.
Miranda played for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in 2010 hitting .285 with 15 home runs and 43 runs batten in. He did play briefly for New York this season hitting just .219 with 3 home runs.
Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers spent the 2010 season as a special assistant to the Yankees GM Brian Cashman and he obviously made notes of players he would be interested in once he became a GM. The question is, where will Miranda fit with Brandon Allen already on the roster as the incumbent first baseman with Adam LaRoche now gone?
The Diamondbacks also added two of their minor league players to the 40-man roster, a precursor to the upcoming Rule-5 Draft that will be held during the Winter Meetings in early December.
Both players added were pitchers signifying that the Diamondbacks feel their strength in the minor leagues continues to be the pitching staff. Right-hander Yonata Ortega was added from the Visalia Rawhide roster while right-hander Josh Collmenter was added from the Mobile BayBears.
Neither expects to be on the 25-man roster next spring but Collmenter has pressed the Diamondbacks overachieving at each level. Taken in the 15th round of the 2007 amateur draft Collmenter has earned a spot as a prospect through hard work and a very good Arizona Fall League campaign.
Arizona also claimed right-handed pitcher Juan Jaime off waivers from the Washington Nationals. Jaime had limited work in 2010 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has a powerful arm and could become one of the pieces in the revamped bullpen Towers is assembling.
While none of these roster moves stand out as an answer to the dismal 2010 season they very well could be some of the pieces that act as the glue that will hold the team together in 2011.