Arizona Diamondbacks Notebook-Kyle Jensen Gets His Opportunity

Aug 28, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) singles in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) singles in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

Since rosters expanded September 1, Kyle Jensen is the second player called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks

On Saturday afternoon, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Kyle Jensen from Triple-A Reno. The move was announced by Diamondbacks General Manager Dave Stewart.

This represents the first big league stint for the 28-year-old native of Walnut Creek, California. Jensen wears the number 29 on his jersey.

Jensen played in 134 games for the Aces this season. He collected 144 hits in 498 at-bats (.289). His 30 home runs and 120 RBI led the Pacific Coast League.

Jensen earned some accolades for his efforts.He was the Pacific Coast League MVP runner-up to Hunter Renfroe of the San Diego Padres organization, and he named to the All-Pacific Coast League team.

Jensen was near the top of the league in several other key offensive categories. He ranked second in total bases (272), fourth in doubles (34), fourth in slugging percentage (.546), and eighth in OPS (.986).

The 6 -3, 240-pound right-handed hitter also made some history along the way. Jensen’s name is now associated with the Aces franchise single season home run, RBI, and total base records. In addition, he owns the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A RBI record, and a share of the franchise’s Triple-A home run mark with Ernie Young in 1999.

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Originally drafted by the then Florida Marlins in round 12 of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Jensen was eventually traded by the Marlins to the Dodgers on Nov. 17, 2014. After hitting  .259 at Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2015, Jensen was released and signed with the Diamondbacks as a minor-league free agent this past off-season.

Jensen is a career .266 hitter with 178 HR and 631 RBI in 966 minor-league games.

After getting a call to The Show, Jensen was emotional.

“It means everything, it’s everything you work for,” Jensen said. “I’m just  happy to get the opportunity to come up here and be here with the team.”

Jensen picked up his first at-bat in the big-leagues on Saturday night. Pinch hitting for Randall Delgado in the top of the eighth inning, Jensen lined out to Rockies’ right-fielder Carlos Gonzalez for the second out of that inning.

Last place no longer

The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies in game two of the series on Saturday night 9-4. The win was credited to big offensive performances from Chris Owings, Welington Castillo, and Jake Lamb.

Combine this result with the Padres 5-1 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, the Diamondbacks vacated the cellar in the National League West. They were tied with the Padres for last in the division going into Saturday’s game sporting a record of 56-78.

The Diamondbacks improved on a dismal month of July (7-17) by going 13-15 in August. Still, the team is still looking for their first winning month this season.

The lineup has keyed Arizona’s recent run of good play. Since August 15, the Diamondbacks .320 batting average with RISP is the best in the majors.

The offense probably would not mind playing every game at Coors Field. They have 10-plus hits in 10 consecutive games at Coors Field. During that 10-game stretch, the Diamondbacks are hitting .344 as a team. That includes 44 extra-base hits and an average of 7.2 runs per game.

On Saturday, Chris Owings matched a career high with four hits, Lamb hit his 27th home run, and Braden Shipley earned the win. He allowed four runs on eight hits over his 5.2 innings . The bullpen finally stepped up with Edwin Escobar, Randell Delgado, and Jake Barrett each logging a scoreless inning.

A.J. Pollock has not missed a beat

The Arizona Diamondbacks are finding out how much they missed A.J. Pollock this season. Pollock contributed to Saturday night’s win with two runs scored.

Over his last five games through Saturday, Pollock was hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a homer and three RBI. Expected to play two games and then take a day off, Pollock said repeatedly that he feels good. As long as he continues to be productive, expect Pollock to get his at-bats.

“I’ve been thinking about playing for a long time, so maybe that had something to do with coming back and feeling almost like I didn’t leave,” Pollock said to the Arizona Republic. “I feel great. It’s awesome just being back, having the regular baseball soreness instead of just concentrating on my elbow.”

Next: Greinke could be moved in off-season

The hope is that Pollock uses his current play as a springboard for a healthy 2017 season.