Yesterday was full of news, particularly involving news on pitching as well as a shortstop prospect that had to leave the game early to injury.
Matt Koch to start Friday vs. San Diego Padres
This news broke out yesterday given Tuesday’s news that Taijuan Walker had an injury to the UCL of his throwing elbow and will be getting Tommy John surgery. After a second opinion confirmed the injury and recommendation to take the surest route back, Walker will be on the shelf until June 2019 at the earliest. With Shelby Miller on the shelf for a similar injury suffered roughly a year ago, the Diamondbacks pitching depth will be tested. The first man up will be Matt Koch.
Koch will pitch Friday, right in Walker’s slot on 5 days of rest. Koch hasn’t amounted to much yet at the MLB level, last year not even recording a single out. In Spring he pitched to a 4.40 ERA with a 11/2 K/BB in 14 1⁄3 innings, making him one of the final roster cuts. Most of the runs he allowed came against San Francisco in a night game. In 8 innings between the majors and AAA, Koch has combined to allow 0 runs and 3 hits while recording 4 strikeouts. His repertoire is mostly 4-seamers and sliders, the fastball sitting low 90s and slider mid 80s. His change-up and curveball are fringy at best, which is why I had him as a long man for career projection. He’ll have the chance to prove that he belongs.
Jon Duplantier set to make AA debut this weekend
Duplantier missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury suffered late in Spring. He’ll reportedly make his AA debut for the Jackson Generals some time around April 21st or 22nd. He’s been rehabbing in extended Spring Training as they try to build up his pitch count to be able to go the full games. The Diamondbacks are doing the same with Taylor Widener in AA, although he’s doing those games for Jackson instead of extended Spring Training. Duplantier is the team’s top pitching prospect and could cement his status as a future rotation stalwart with a strong season in the upper minors.
Kane County SS Jazz Chisholm exits game after awkward slide into 3rd
Chisholm left the Cougars’ 13-2 win yesterday in the 4th inning after an awkward slide into 3rd base. Last year he was only able to play in 29 games for Kane County thanks to a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee that he’s apparently had for almost 9 years. Chisholm was off to a hot start for Kane County, hitting .290/.405/.581 (173 wRC+) with 5 XBH (3 2B, 2 HR) in 37 PA. The walk rate was currently sitting at 16.2% at the time of injury, likely boosted by a 3 walk day that accounts for half of his walk total for the season while striking out 29.7% of the time.