D-backs trim list of rotation candidates

Nine remain in contention for three spots; Chafin, Nuno out of running

D-backs trim list of rotation candidates

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If left-handers Andrew Chafin and Vidal Nuno are going to make the D-backs' Opening Day roster, they will need to do it as relievers.

Arizona manager Chip Hale said Sunday the competition for the final three spots in the starting rotation is down to eight candidates -- nine if you count Cuban free-agent signee Yoan Lopez, who appears to be a long shot at this point.

Josh Collmenter will start on Opening Day, and Jeremy Hellickson is the only other pitcher locked into a spot.

That leaves three spots open and the following pitchers still in the mix: Trevor Cahill, Allen Webster, Robbie Ray, Randall Delgado, Archie Bradley, Rubby De La Rosa, Chase Anderson, Daniel Hudson and Lopez.

Chafin snares liner

The D-backs still think Chafin's future could be as a starter, and they would likely have him in a starting role if he begins the season in the Minors. But given the roster composition, they think the way he could fit right now is in the bullpen.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.