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Matt Davidson, Eury de la Rosa called up, Eric Chavez to DL

The Diamondbacks made not one, but two, roster moves this morning. Eury de la Rosa was called up to take David Hernandez's spot in the bullpen. However, our top position prospect, Matt Davidson, will also be seen in the big leagues for the first time, as Eric Chavez goes back on the DL.


To get the relatively minor news (with all respect to Eury!) out of the way first, left-hander de la Rosa previously spent 11 days with the team in mid-July, working only twice, throwing a total of 2.1 innings, retiring all seven batters he faced. He has appeared in 44 games for the Reno Aces, with a 5.26 ERA - and I again have to wonder who Joe Paterson pissed off in the Diamondbacks, because his 2.01 ERA in 39 games is apparently deemed less worthy of a call. This gives Kirk Gibson another southpaw option out of the bullpen, to back up Joe Thatcher, and there'll likely be some shuffling of other roles, with perhaps Will Harris taking the innings vacated by David Hernandez.

The bigger bite is the promotion of Matt Davidson, who has been on the team's radar as their top position prospect, almost since being picked in the first round of the 2009 draft, as an 18-year-old out of high-school. Over 584 minor-league games since then, he has a line of .268/.351/.453, with 79 home-runs: this year at Reno, he has hit .278/.348/.484, for an .832 OPS. However, counterpoint: Reno. That OPS puts him (and our other prospect, Chris Owings) in between the likes of Juan Rivera and fourth-string catcher Ed Easley on the Reno roster, so we'll see how those numbers translate to the majors. Most MLB prospect lists had him in the lower-third of the top 100.

However, there's not much doubt that, in the long term, Davidson does have the talent to hit in the major-leagues - he was the MLB Futures Game MVP last month, and also won the Triple-A Home-Run Derby. The question with him is more whether his defense will allow him to stick at the hot-corner, or if it will be necessary to move him to another, less-challenging position: Davidson has made 17 errors in 108 games for Reno this year. The obvious location is occupied, since (in case you hadn't noticed) the team are moderately satisfied with their current first-baseman.

I've very annoyed with the Diamondbacks, who have managed to break Eric Chavez once again, by playing with him too much. I thought they would have learned their lesson the last time, after breaking him in May, by using him 10 games in a row - consequentially, he was on the DL for almost all of June. But the team seems to have done it again: Chavez was the starter for all three games in the recent winning streak, and has already started more games in the field than any season since 2007. There's a very good reason for that, and we now apparently see the results of trying to push the veteran too far. This is why we can't have nice things...

It'll be interesting to see how Gibson chooses to use Davidson: he's a right-hander like Martin Prado, so there's no chance for a platoon split. I wonder if he might end up getting most of the starts at third, with Prado becoming an everyday outfielder? I had thought, going back to the signing of Prado's extension, that this might have been the long-term plan for the team, and it could just end up happening ahead of schedule, in the same way that Didi Gregorius's promotion happened due to injuries to those ahead of him. Apparently, he's only not in the line-up today, because he's getting here close to game time, so the early signs appear to be that he won't be riding the pine/

What's amusing in this case was the news of Davidson's promotion being initially broken, not by the team or even the player concerned, but by Davidson's brother on Twitter:

Welcome to the world of social media! And welcome to the big leagues, Matt Davidson. May your stay with the Diamondbacks be a long and fruitful one.