Gregor Blanco was widely expected to be on the D-backs Opening Day roster, but a niggling oblique injury limited his spring action, and he didn’t appear in a game after March 21. The complicated terms of his contract led to him being released by the Diamondbacks, but then immediately re-signed to a minor-league deal, which allowed him to recover from injury, and rehab in the minors. Over six games between High-A and Triple-A, Blanco batted .391 (9-for-23), with three walks and six strikeouts.
In effect, he replaces Jeremy Hazelbaker as a potential fourth outfielder, since Hazelbaker was sent to Reno to make room for Shipley’s start. With another off-day on Monday, the team could conceivably go without needing a fifth starter until the game a week Sunday against Pittsburgh. However, they didn’t opt for skipping the #5 man this cycle, when last Monday’s off-day could have allowed for it - they may have looked at the schedule and decided otherwise. They team already had an eighth man in the bullpen, and given the bug going round the team, which has kept David Peralta out of action, having a fresh pair of limbs for the large Coors outfield makes sense.
The team needed to add Blanco to the 40-man roster as well, and did that by transferring left-handed pitcher Steve Hathaway from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list. However, he started his own rehab assignment this week, and has appeared in one game with the Double-A Jackson Generals.