Varsho went 3-for-12 with one extra-base hit and two walks over eight Cactus League games before the shutdown. The Diamondbacks talked about exposing Varsho to outfield this spring, but Arizona's fifth-ranked prospect was used at catcher only (plus once as a pinch hitter). The 23-year-old is likely to start the season at Triple-A Reno, where it is presumed the organization will further develop a second position for him. He's still a catcher in the eyes of management, but with the 25-year-old Carson Kelly locked in at catcher and under control through 2024, the team will want to find a home for Varsho's bat and baserunning. That could happen as soon as 2020, when Kelly and Stephen Vogt will be the top two backstops.
Varsho will play outfield in addition to catcher during big-league camp, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. The majority of Varsho's reps will come at catcher, but the Diamondbacks want to get a look at him in the outfield. The 23-year-old prospect, who played some center field at the end of the Double-A season in 2019, could be needed at the MLB level in 2020. As such, manager Torey Lovullo wants to prepare him if the team needs an outfielder: "How we sold it to him is, 'We don't know where your first big-league appearance is going to be. It could be in the outfield; it could be behind the plate. Why not add some things to your tool belt to get you here as fast as possible?'" The organization feels he's a good enough athlete to handle the outfield -- he stole 21 bases last year -- and was pleased with how Varsho looked in the outfield.
Varsho (ankle) said he's back to full strength as spring training kicked off this week, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Varsho injured his ankle last November during an international tournament in Japan and initially feared the worst. The diagnosis -- a Grade 3 sprain -- was less serious than the thoughts that raced through his mind. Varsho, a catcher/outfielder, is one Arizona's top prospects and could reach MLB at some point in 2020.
Varsho (ankle) was invited to the Diamondbacks' big-league camp on Tuesday. Varsho spent 2019 with Double-A Jackson, hitting .301/.378/.520 with 18 homers and 21 steals, quite a unique skill set for a catcher. He'll presumably need some seasoning at the Triple-A level before being considered for a big-league roster spot. He sprained his ankle at an international tournament in Japan in November, though it's not clear that the issue will continue to affect him this spring.
Varsho suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain and will spend the next two weeks in a walking boot before being re-evaluated, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. Varsho suffered the injury during an international tournament in Japan, and he had to be helped off the field immediately following an awkward slide at second base. While he'll have plenty of time to return to health before spring training, the team will get a better idea of his availability moving forward after he's re-evaluated.
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