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2020 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews #37: Joe Mantiply

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The inability to get lefties out.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
  • Rating: 3.15
  • Age: 29
  • 2020 Stats: 4G, 2.1 IP, 15.43 ERA, 6.62 FIP, 3.00 WHIP
  • 2020 Salary: $575,000 (league minimum), $24,920 earned
  • 2021 Status: under team control until 2027

Introduction

Joe Mantiply has been around in the MLB, a bit, since 2016. That was the year when he made his debut for the Detroit Tigers, the team that picked him out of Virginia Tech in the 27th round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft. In 2016 fangraphs said about the Virginia native that he had “just decent stuff” and the decent stuff apparently did not work out well in the MLB: two months after his MLB debut he was designated for assignment.

The hookie went from the New York Yankees to the Cincinnati Reds, got TJ surgery that prevented him from pitching in 2018 and back to the New York Yankees. Threw 52 pitches for them in 2019 and was dumped again.

In January 2020 the Arizona Diamondbacks signed the left-handed pitcher on a minor league contract.

2020 review

When Andrew Chafin was traded away and with 3 pitchers hitting the IL, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected the contract of Mantiply on September 1.

He made his debut 2 days later. It was the bottom of the 7th, D-Backs down 3-1 and a man on first, and he was supposed to get the final out against a left-handed batter (Corey Seager). Seager singled, then Muncy walked, but with the bases loaded he got Bellinger to fly out to Calhoun.

Mantiply allowed baserunners in all of his outings. Of the 15 batters he faced, he walked 4 while 3 got a basehit. That is just too much traffic. He faced the Dodgers twice and especially the last outing he won’t forget any time soon: D-Backs were up 6-2, but then Mantiply walked Bellinger, walked Taylor and gave up a RBI hit to Gavin Lux (Crichton would continue the show and Mantiply was tagged for two more runs).

“I keep wanting to call him Multiply” - Rockkstarr12

“The only thing multiplying is baserunners” - Jack Sommers

“Get this clown act out of there.” - AzDbackfanInDc

“That’s what a career 10.57 ERA looks like.” - Snake_Bitten

Mantiply sported, according to statcast, mainly a sinker-curve combo in 2020 (fangraphs grades the curve as a slider) and despite the good spin rate, statcast graded their movement as below average.

Mantiply’s main problem was that batters on average hardly swung at his pitches. He had a very low chase rate outside of the zone, which might explain why he walked a batter too many, but also within the zone batters were patient. The velocity was a tick up from previous seasons, and that might explain why the ball was also hit harder than before.

Pitch info and plate discipline on Mantiply pitches 2020

But what is perhaps more baffling was the inability to get left-handed batters out. Bellinger and Seager are probably not the easiest opponents, but lefties in general had a 0.500 OBP against Mantiply.

Left-right pitching splits Mantiply (Rotowire)

Mike Hazen finally saw enough of his inability to get batters out and was optioned back to the alternate training site on September 9, the day after his 4th appearance and his 2nd against the Dodgers.

2021 outlook

Joe Mantiply was designated for assignment on September 28 to make room for Domingo Leyba, who returned from his PED suspension.

Mantiply went unclaimed on waivers and was thus outrighted to AAA and the player will stay in the organization.

In 2021 the team will still have a couple of minor league options on Joe Mantiply. Therefore it does not hurt to keep him in the organization and move him up and down at will.

However, the club might also decide to non-tender and release the player like the Yankees did last year, making him a free agent.

Whatever will happen, it will not change the outlook for the 2021 Diamondbacks.