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Diamondbacks promote two as rosters expand for September

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 07: Stuart Fairchild #63 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets ready in the batters box against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning at Chase Field on July 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. It was Fairchild's first MLB at bat. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 07: Stuart Fairchild #63 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets ready in the batters box against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning at Chase Field on July 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. It was Fairchild's first MLB at bat. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Diamondbacks promote two as rosters expand for September

In case you forgot, September 1st is the date that MLB rosters expand until the playoffs. Up until a couple of years ago, rosters would expand to the full 40-man roster. This created a log jam in the clubhouse, dugout, and games. It would cause games to last even longer due to managers switching out position players and pitchers way more often.

Then the MLB and MLBPA agreed to new roster constructions. In 2019, the MLB changed from 25-man rosters to 26-man rosters. This meant that teams now had an extra player for the entire season. The MLBPA met the MLB for that concession by agreeing to lower rosters from 40 to 28 for September.

Thus, due to these new rules, the Dbacks made a pair of rather underwhelming promotions for fans. They called up Stuart Fairchild and Luke Weaver.

Luke Weaver is the big name that most fans will remember and love. He’s been out since May 16 due to a strained right shoulder. He left that game against the Washington Nationals after only four innings.

He had been having a rather up-and-down season before that. In his first two starts of the year, he allowed 3 runs over 12+ innings with 11 punchouts. Then, over his next four starts, he went 0-3 while allowing over 3 runs or more a game with 10 walks to 18 K’s in 17 innings. He just wasn’t able to execute his pitches and kept leaving pitches over the plate. Next, he would be unable to maintain his pitching with runners on base.

Yet, after those four starts, something flipped. I don’t know what it was but it was back to Luke Weaver of old. The second start being his injury start, he went 10+ scoreless innings with only 2 walks and 9 K’s. It was terrific.

Now that’s he has gotten healthy and had time to prepare, let’s hope he continues being the Luke Weaver of old. What a boost to the rotation that would be for the Diamondbacks heading into next season.

Now, for the other semi-big name that was called up. Stuart Fairchild is the name. Originally acquired along with Josh VanMeter in the trade that sent Archie Bradley to the Reds, he made his MLB debut earlier this year. He didn’t get any consistent playing time at all.

Over ten games, he had 12 plate appearances, 11 at-bats, and got 1 walk, 1 hit, and 3 strikeouts. That’s just not enough playing time for a rookie who needs consistent at-bats to be able to prove and develop himself. I’m rather confused as to why they called him up after they just called up Jake McCarthy. Of course, I am not inside the clubhouse to know those conversations that took place.

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He’s only played in 36 games at Reno this year, but they have been good. Over those 36 games, Stuarts has a .292, .364, .538, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 6 HR’s, 19 RBIs, 3 stolen bases, 12 walks, and 24 K’s. Stuart’s got great contact skills and a good eye at the plate as evidenced by his stats.

He’s the typical slim outfielder who has good gap power, speed, fielding ability, and contact skills. He’s never going to be a guy who steals 20+ bases or hits 20+ home runs. However, I bet he could do over 10 in both categories with enough playing time. I’m unsure if he will get that playing time right now. The Dbacks have a lot of outfielders to play right now. Hopefully, the team moves Ketel back to second to clear more outfield time. We shall see.

Either way, welcome back to the MLB Luke and Stuart! Finish the year strong!

FYI, more roster moves are incoming as Merrill Kelly and Kole Calhoun get closer to returning from the IL.

Also, from Tuesday night when Ketel Marte hit his third career Grand Slam:

He’s now tied for third on the team all-time behind Paul Goldschmidt (4)  and Matt Williams (7).

As always,

May the Force be with You…

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