Diamondbacks' Peter O'Brien plays the outfield

Peter O'Brien came into spring training with a chance to win the Diamondbacks' catching job, but he was in left field on Thursday afternoon in a minor league game, the second consecutive day he has played the outfield.

O'Brien hasn't been behind the plate since throwing problems developed earlier this month. In several consecutive games in big league camp, O'Brien struggled to throw the ball back to the pitcher. The problems persisted after being re-assigned to the minors.

"I think he's going to play some outfield (once the minor league season starts) and catching isn't out of the question, but we're still talking internally to figure out what's best for him," farm director Mike Bell said.

In January, General Manager Dave Stewart said he wasn't pursuing catching help via trade in part because of the team's belief O'Brien was their catcher of the future. Though other clubs did not believe in his catching abilities — opinions formed before the throwing problems developed — the Diamondbacks thought he needed more reps at the position after bouncing among catcher, third base, first base and the outfield in his minor league career.

Club officials and coaches have been reluctant to publicly acknowledge O'Brien's issues.

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