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The Jon Duplantier era begins

Well, that didn’t take long.

Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The strain placed on the D-backs’ pitching staff - particularly, their necks as they watched balls whizzing out of Dodger Stadium - has led to the team making a move to bolster the staff after just four games. Infielder Ildemaro Vargas has been optioned to Triple-A, and coming up to take his spot on the roster is pitching prospect Jon Duplantier, who will be making his major-league debut. He was out third-round pick in the 2016 draft, and is regarded by many as the top player in our farm system. He was in the overall Top 100 prospects for Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus before both last season and this one: Duplantier was ranked #86, #73 and #90 respectively for 2019.

He has been a starter almost all of his minor-league career, though his campaign last season was limited by biceps tendinitis. He was able to make just sixteen starts, mostly at Double-A, but managed a 2.55 ERA, with 77 strikeouts in 74 innings. He then ramped up the K’s over six appearances in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 32 in only 21.2 innings. His name had also been mentioned as of possible interest to the Orioles, when they were in discussion with the Diamondbacks about a possible Manny Machado trade last year. Nothing came of that, and so we will see him get to make his debut in an Arizona uniform instead.

According to Nick Piecoro, Duplantier will pitch out of the bullpen. This is probably not the long-term intention. But with both the existing long relievers Matt Koch and Matt Andriese having been heavily leaned on in the Dodgers’ series, it makes sense to have someone else capable of going more than one frame. It comes at the cost of Vargas, though I imagine we’ll seei him again shortly. Credit to Makakilo for nailing the first move in last night’s Round Table, when he wrote, “Increase the number of bullpen pitchers on the 25 man roster.” And also to the pitcher for having one of the best Twitter handles I’ve seen: @dup_thereitis. Took me a moment to figure out “thereitis” was not some kind of inflammation...