The Diamondbacks officially announced the signing of reliever Tyler Clippard this morning, and also re-instated right-handed pitcher Luis Frias from the injured list. Frias had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, and so had not been able to join the team at the start of spring training. But, like fellow coronavirus sufferer Stephen Vogt, it appears Frias is now negative again, and so can come out of quarantine.
These arrivals meant that two spots needed to be freed up on the roster, and it perhaps makes sense that it’s two relievers who have been designated for assignment, to make room. However, they are both players who made a relatively significant number of appearances for the Diamondbacks last season, left-hander Travis Bergen playing in seven games, and right=hander Keury Mella taking the mound eleven times. Bergen had a 4.05 ERA over 6.2 innings, but did walk as many as he struck out (eight of each), and had a FIP more than two runs worse than his ERA, at 6.34. Even being a southpaw was not apparently enough to save him.
I am surprised to see the team let Mella go. He allowed just two earned runs over 10 innings. on ten hits with ten strikeouts and three walks. While his FIP was also higher than his ERA, a 3.39 FIP is perfectly decent. When I wrote his review, I noted his blistering slider, and concluded Mella “could even be a good dark-horse selection potentially to have a breakout 2021 campaign.” If that’s going to happen, he’ll now have to make it through the DFA process, without being claimed by another team. Fingers crossed that happens, as I tend to think he could still be of use for the team in 2021.