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Diamondbacks Game Preview #122: 8/23 vs. Royals

Welcome to the D-backs, Mr.  Reyes Moronta

MLB: AUG 16 Dodgers at Brewers Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 2B MJ Melendez - LF
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Bobby Witt - SS
Ketel Marte - DH Salvador Perez - C
Christian Walker - 1B Ryan O'Hearn - DH
Daulton Varsho - RF Michael Taylor - CF
Jake McCarthy - LF Nick Pratto - 1B
Carson Kelly - C Hunter Dozier - 3B
Alek Thomas - CF Nicky Lopez - 2B
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Drew Waters - RF
Zach Davies - RHP Jonathan Heasley - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

Claimed RHP Reyes Moronta off waivers from the Dodgers.

Appeared in 22 games for the Dodgers this season before being designated for assignment on Aug. 20.

Spent the previous 4 seasons (2017-21) with the Giants, posting a sub-3.00 ERA over each season.

In 158 career relief appearances, is 8-9 with 1 save, 29 holds, a 2.88 ERA (50 ER in 156.0 IP), .179 opponent average and 189 strikeouts.

Designated INF Jake Hager for assignment.

The D-backs’ 40-man roster remains at 40.

Relievers with a sub-three career ERA over 150+ major-league innings and a strike-out rate close to 11 per 9 IP don’t typically hit the waiver wire very often, yet here Reyes Moronta is. A large part of the issue is his health, with Moronta missing the (abbreviated) 2020 season entirely, and throwing just four innings in 2021, due to various shoulder and flexor tendon problems. As a result, he could only get a minor-league invite from the Dodgers, and posted an ERA of 4.18 with them, with is exactly at 100 ERA+. He racked up the travel credits with Los Angeles, his 22 appearances coming across five stints with the major-league team, before eventually being cut to make way for the return to the roster of Dustin May.

Still. the Dodgers’ trash is Arizona’s treasure. Among LA relievers with 20+ innings of work, Moronta’s ERA+ ranks him 8th out of 10. Among AZ relievers with 20+ innings of work, a 100 ERA+ would be good enough for 5th out of 9. With one of those above him (Kyle Nelson) on the Injured List, Moronta’s credentials would appear more welcome in the D-backs’ bullpen. Though keeping the ball in the yard (he has allowed five home-runs in 23.2 innings this season) will go some way to getting his FIP down from its currently unhealthy value of 5.10. He is under team control through the end of next season (which will be his last go through arbitration) and can be optioned to the minors as and when necessary.

He’s also listed at 5’10” and 265 lbs, which would appear to make him a large human being indeed. It makes Reyes the heaviest pitcher on the 40-man roster, despite being almost the only man under six feet in height (Humberto Castellanos, currently on the 60-day IL, is 5’ 11”). Moronta is eight pounds heavier than Madison Bumgarner, who is also half a foot taller. He weighs in at 1.75 Sergio Alcantara’s, who is listed at 5’ 9” and 151 pounds. Though, let’s be honest, pro wrestlers are perhaps the only sportsmen whose stated heights and weights are more questionable than those provided for baseball players! We now wait and see if a 25-man roster move is in the cards for Moronta.