The Phoenician and the Shark are Back!
By Peter Smith
Before today's series against the Rockies, the Diamondbacks made a few roster moves. All of these relate to a couple big returns from the injured list: Mark Melancon and Josh Rojas.
First up is the return of Mark Melancon. Melancon wound up on the IL with COVID-19 on April 29th. Before that, he was looking like a lockdown closer, coming off two saves against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He's currently holding a 1.13 ERA, a 1.250 WHIP, three strikeouts, and four saves. I'd expect him to see action if the Diamondbacks wind up in a save situation or a tied game going into the ninth.
Josh Rojas is also returning from the injured list, but unlike Melancon, Rojas has yet to play a game this season. The big gap in the Diamondbacks roster since the start of the season has been third base due to his oblique injury. Rojas looked great in Spring Training prior to the injury, going 5-19 with three doubles, two homers, and a walk. In his rehab assignment at AAA Reno, he's gone 2-5 with a double and four walks. This rehab assignment makes him look like a very different Josh Rojas than I'm used to. I don't expect him to take a ton of walks, but that's exactly what was happening in Reno. Josh might fit nicely into that walk-heavy strategy. Josh is starting at third base and batting fifth tonight versus Colorado.
In the first of two corresponding moves, Sergio Alcantara was designated for assignment. I liked Alcantara for his hustle and the way he handled his time on the field, but the numbers weren't really there. Alcantara has a -0.6 bWAR and an OPS+ of 50 so far this season. I do think he was starting to heat up a fair bit, going 6-18 in the last five games, but it's hard to find someone to cut over him. We'll have to see what the Diamondbacks do with him because I do think he has some value.
Lastly, Corbin Martin was optioned to AAA Reno in another corresponding move. I fully expect Martin back with the major league club within the month. I'd be shocked if he doesn't return fairly quickly. The bullpen was taxed pretty heavily and Corbin bore the brunt of that, pitching four innings in relief against Miami. He's looked pretty comfortable pitching in that long-relief role this season and I'm looking forward to his inevitable return.