After Wednesday’s off day, the Diamondbacks will have exactly a week to go before Opening Day. They still have a handful of decisions still left to be made, both in terms of roster spots and roles, but they are deep enough into the spring to come away with clear impressions.
Of course, given the nature of spring training, it is best to take most of this for what it is worth: These are games involving players at various stages in their careers, at various levels of preparation for the season, some working on new pitches, some tinkering with adjustments, all of them playing in games that do not count. That is to say, caveat emptor.
All that said, here are some observations from camp as the Diamondbacks approach their March 30 opener at Dodger Stadium.
1. Corbin Carroll has had fantastic spring
Every time you look up, Carroll is hitting a ball hard. Or drawing a walk. Or tracking down a ball somewhere in the outfield. His at-bats have been tough. His quality of contact has been loud. Carroll is 13 for 36 (.361) with five doubles, two triples and nine walks. As always, take the results with a grain of salt in spring training, but Carroll has given every indication thus far that he is ready to be a major contributor, an extremely encouraging sign when it comes to the Diamondbacks’ chances to contend this season.
2. Gabriel Moreno looks ready for a big role
With Carson Kelly’s injury, the Diamondbacks are going to need Moreno to be a bigger part of this team than originally anticipated. So far he has looked ready for the challenge. His at-bats have been particularly impressive. He seems to have a knack for making solid contact, and he has even unloaded on a couple of pitches, raising hopes that the power he shows off during batting practice might be more accessible in games, as well.
3. The rotation depth seems legit
Whether it’s right-hander Ryne Nelson or right-hander Drey Jameson who comes away with the final rotation spot, the Diamondbacks will be giving the ball to a pitcher who has shown solid stuff, at least in the eyes of scouts following the club this spring. Beyond those two, the club also has Brandon Pfaadt and Tommy Henry as rotation depth. None of these pitchers are proven — and their youth likely makes for a wider variety of potential outcomes — but the quality of stuff, combined with their command/control and competitiveness, has left evaluators liking what they’ve seen. Pfaadt had the best results this spring, but Nelson and Jameson's success in the majors last year, combined with their present stuff, makes their place in the rotation defensible.
4. Kyle Lewis might mash his way onto this roster
Lewis, whom the Diamondbacks acquired in November from the Seattle Mariners, has played somewhat sparingly, getting a late start to Cactus League action and serving as the designated hitter in all but two of his games. But he has absolutely raked when in the lineup. Scouts have been impressed with the quality of his at-bats and his potential for power production. He still isn’t moving as well as he did earlier in his career — he appears tentative, at times, perhaps a natural result of having undergone multiple knee surgeries — but that concern will quickly fade if he continues to hit the ball this hard once the season starts. It would seem Lewis is pushing Pavin Smith for the final position player spot.
5. They have some potential late-inning weapons
Right-hander Scott McGough has closing experience from his time in Japan — and he might find himself getting a chance to close with the Diamondbacks, at least based on the way he has thrown so far this spring. McGough has an interesting repertoire. Not only does he have two good secondary offerings, he can throw both his splitter and slider out of the zone to elicit chase or land them in the zone for strikes. And while he doesn’t overpower with his 92-94 mph fastball, the pitch seems to get on hitters in a hurry. Beyond him, right-handers Miguel Castro, Kevin Ginkel and Jeurys Familia have all had solid springs. And if young relievers like Carlos Vargas, Luis Frias and Justin Martinez don’t make the team, it appears the Diamondbacks will have intriguing, hard-throwing options in Reno waiting for the call.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: One week to Opening Day: Key observations from Diamondbacks camp