The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned Tommy Henry out to Triple-A Reno on Thursday while calling up relief pitcher Taylor Widener. Tommy Henry had pitched his way into the Arizona rotation after being with Reno all season. However, there were times that Henry just looked a bit unsteady on the mound which led to pitches that weren't crisp. He showcased that he has MLB talent but needs further refining before getting the call again. One of the top prospects for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tommy Henry will seek to get back up to the MLB as soon as possible.
So, how did Tommy Henry do in his limited MLB time with the Arizona Diamondbacks?
Tommy Henry started in all seven games that he appeared in with the Diamondbacks. The 6'3" lefty held his own over his first five starts against the likes of the Guardians, Pirates, Rockies, Cardinals, and White Sox. Although he only managed to pass 5.1 innings once (7 against the Pirates), he had a good stat-line through those games. He was 3-2 with 27.2 innings, 23 hits, 10 runs, 12 walks, 19 strikeouts, and a 3.25 ERA/4.67 FIP. The walks were an issue as it seemed he was trying to finesse his pitches for more than just pump the zone for strikes.
Henry will have to regain some confidence that he can just throw pitches in the strike zone. A lot of young pitchers are nervous to do that since they want to avoid the huge hits. Yet, if you walk too many then that leads to even more problems. The same is true if you constantly fall behind in the count and set up hitters for a fastball down the middle. Regardless, through five starts, it certainly seemed like Henry was on the path to finishing the season in the Dbacks rotation.
However, in his two most recent starts against the Phillies and Padres, the wheels came completely off for the top Diamondbacks prospect. Over the last two starts, Henry threw a total of 8.1 innings and allowed 12 runs, three home runs, five walks, six strikeouts, 15 hits, and a 12.96 ERA/8.51 FIP. It ballooned his ERA from 3.25 to 5.50 and his FIP from 4.60 to 5.56.
So, perhaps some more seasoning in the minors will help. If the team can help him rediscover his pitching streak that he had in Reno prior to coming up or his aggressiveness, then I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the Dbacks opening day rotation come 2023.
Perhaps he'll be back up for the Doubleheader against the Dodgers next week or the team will give another pitching prospect a shot. Regardless, Tommy Henry was optioned, but we have not seen the last of him. The Arizona Diamondbacks prospect is very much a part of this team's future. See you soon again Tommy Henry!