Optioned to Double-A Mobile:
- Socrates Brito, OF
- Brandon Drury, IF
- Will Locante, LHP
The first and last of these probably don't count as too much of a surprise. Brito had seen plenty of playing time this spring, appearing in 16 games, but with a line of .222/.250/.296. Locante hadn't been used as much, with just three appearances and 2.1 innings, but gave up eight hits, a walk and five earned runs. However, the departure of Drury is something of a surprise, as he had been utterly tearing up the Cactus League for the Diamondbacks this spring. He was leading the team in home-runs (3) and RBI (9), while his triple-slash line of .435/.533/.957 also was tops among all those with more than a handful of at-bats.
That was managed, even though he was also adapting to an unfamiliar position, moving to second-base. However, he had proven so proficient that manager Chip Hale enthused, just a couple of days ago, "He could play major league second base right now. He's got the talent to do it." However, with Aaron Hill being paid a lot of money at that position this year, and Drury apparently blocked at third by Yasmany Tomas and/or Jake Lamb, it seems the team decided he'd be better served playing everyday in Mobile. Hale added, "We have to decide what's best for him, because he needs innings."
Still, there's no doubt he has heightened his profile significantly with his performance this spring. It may make the team more willing to take action with regard to Hill - whether in the form of a trade or other move - knowing they have a credible replacement waiting in the wings.