|Christian Yelich - LF||Josh Rojas - 3B|
|Willy Adames - SS||Jake McCarthy - DH|
|Rowdy Tellez - DH||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Hunter Renfroe - RF||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Kolten Wong - 2B||Daulton Varsho - RF|
|Keston Hiura - 1B||Corbin Carroll - LF|
|Jace Peterson - 3B||Carson Kelly - C|
|Victor Caratini - C||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Garrett Mitchell - CF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Brandon Woodruff - RHP||Merrill Kelly - RHP|
September 1st used to be a big day in the calendar. Previously, it meant teams could call up any players on the 40-man, with no limitation as to the number. The resulting jumbo squads changee the way teams played in the final month, with far more relievers and bench bats available. This led to some... interesting box-scores, such as this contest against the Cardinals where we used thirteen different pitchers, and they used eleven. That kind of game will not be seen again, partly due to the Manfred Man rule, partly because teams are now restricted to adding just two players, for a total of 28 with a maximum of 14 pitchers. So, Arizona have called up one pitcher and one position player. But, wait... There’s more!
The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:
- Selected INF Wilmer Difo (No. 1) from Triple-A Reno.
- Reinstated LHP Kyle Nelson (lower back spasms) from the 15-day injured list.
- Reinstated RHP Keynan Middleton (strained right ankle) from the 15-day injured list.
- Designated RHP Noé Ramirez for assignment.
The D-backs’ active roster is now at 28 and 40-man remains at 40.
Difo will become the 55th player used by Arizona this season: they are still well short of the franchise record of 64, set last season, and without the option of unfettered 40-man usage, I don’t see ten more names being called up over the final five weeks. A little surprised they went with Difo, who doesn’t appear particularly to have much future. He turned 30 in April, and has an OPS+ of just 76 over seven seasons in Washington and Pittsburgh, covering a total of 489 games. Last year, he batted .269/.329/.384 across 114 games with the Pirates, the OPS+ of 93 being Difo’s best since his rookie campaign of 2016. He also pitched twice for them, so maybe he’s a bullpen arm... :)
The return of Nelson is largely as expected, but the return of Middleton means it also appears to be the end of Ramirez’s time as a Diamondback. He had been one of the most common arms trotted out of the pen. Indeed, since coming over from the Angels in mid-June last year, he has made the second-most appearances by any Arizona pitcher, at 91. Only Joe Mantiply (101) has more, and third-place is a long way back of Ramirez (Caleb Smith’s 55). But the quality has not been there this year. His ERA is close to two and a half runs higher (5.22 vs. 2.76) and his peripherals have gone the wrong way too, his FIP increasing from 3.48 to 5.16. I’m not going to say I called it, but in the GDT on Tuesday night.... yeah, I called it.