The Diamondbacks announced the following today:
D-BACKS DESIGNATE ILDEMARO VARGAS FOR ASSIGNMENT;
OPTIONED YOAN LÓPEZ TO ALTERNATE TRAINING SITE FOLLOWING LAST NIGHT’S GAME
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks designated INF Ildemaro Vargas for assignment. Additionally, the D-backs optioned RHP Yoan López to the Alternate Training Site following last night’s game. The D-backs’ active roster is now at 28.
Vargas, 29, appeared in 8 games with Arizona this season and hit .150 (3-for-20) with 1 walk and 2 runs scored.
Lopez, 27, posted a 4.15 ERA (2 ER in 4.1 IP) in 5 relief appearances in 2020 with the D-backs.
Long a Torey Lovullo favorite, Vargas was out of options. If he clears waivers he could be assigned to the teams minor league camp. The Dbacks 40 man roster currently sits at 39, so they have room to add a player to the 40 man if they need to. The team will be able to keep a 28 man active roster throughout the rest of the season per MLB updated roster rules for the 2020 season.
Vargas was signed by the DBacks in May of 2015 and made his major league debut with the club in 2017. In parts of 4 seasons he only garnered 257 Plate Appearance, batting .257/.287/.387, 74 OPS+, and tallied 0.4 WAR. Vargas showed some power last year , hitting 6 homers, 5 against lefties, and was hitting the ball well in summer camp. Many had high hopes for him to “break out” into a super utility role. But his opportunities were limited and he got caught in a roster crunch.
Yoan Lopez still has options, and it’s not totally surprising that he was the one who was optioned. Stefan Crichton has been pitching well, and although Kevin Ginkel has an unsightly era, that is mostly a function of one bad outing. Lopez has had an up and down tenure with the team, famously going AWOL twice during his minor league career. But he rebounded to earn a call up in late 2018 and impressed with both his stuff and competitive fire. However after a decent start last year, batted ball problems emerged and it was only a matter of time until his ERA caught up with his propensity to give up hard hit balls. That, coupled with a low strike out rate despite mid to upper 90’s velocity means he needs to work on his secondary pitches more to keep hitters off balance and off his fastball.