Mar 3, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Jake Elmore (left) waits for the throw as San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan safely steals second at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
If you're wondering why you haven't seen much of Willie Bloomquist over the past few days, the move reported by Jack Magruder explains it. He has only appeared in two games since July 29, due to problems with his back. Though he played all nine innings on Wednesday, it was reported that his back locked up on him before batting practice the following day, resulting in a late scratch. He didn't seem to think it was too bad, saying "I don’t think it’s one of those things that will need two weeks, but I also don’t want to hamstring the team either." It appears the latter had ended up weighing more heavily.
More on the move, and the new arrival who'll be replacing Bloomquist, after the jump. [H/T to Bcawz for the fanshot of the Tweet first reporting Elmore's promotion]
Bloomquist did have an MRI on his back earlier in the week, which revealed no structural damage, and the infielder seemed baffled and a little annoyed by the problem. "It's really, really, really frustrating, given the situation we're in. There is no good time for an injury, especially when you don't know what you can expect from one day to the next. It puts everybody in a bind.." Willie added, "You can’t explain it. One minute you say, 'I can play today,' and then you go stand up to get ready and think, 'I’m not going to play for a week and a half.' There is really no rhyme or reason." Such are the nature of back problems, it appears.
He's the third DIamondbacks player currently on the DL, joining the post-operative Daniel Hudson and ulcerative Josh Collmenter. As a replacement, the team reached down to the Aces and brought up Jake Elmore, who will be making his major-league debut, whenever that happens. He was a 34th round draft-pick in the 2008 draft, and has spent all of 2012 with the Reno Aces, hitting .344/.442/.465 - applying the Reno correction, that translates to expected MLB numbers of .264/.342/.325. He does seem to have decent plate discipline, with a K:BB ratio of 54:74, but like Bloomquist, possesses basically no power, having hit only one home-run in 419 at-bats.
Earlier in the year, his batting average was even higher - in mid-June, it was .391, which at the time was the highest figure by any qualifying minor-league player. He had a 31-game hitting streak through June 24, the longest this year in pro ball. However, Baseball America remained unimpressed, sniffing "Scouts regard Elmore as a lukewarm prospect, one with average feel to hit and average defensive proficiency at the keystone. His throwing arm and running speed, however, receive below-average grades... Elmore will not be the answer at second base for Arizona, though his versatility and willingness to work pitchers could earn him playing time as a utility grinder."
Elmore is on Twitter, and will be the second product of Arizona State University to play for the local team. The first? Coincidentally, that would be Bloomquist.