Venom Bites: Dbacks make some surprising roster moves
By Jake Oliver
The Diamondbacks announced a flurry of roster moves
Earlier on Thursday, the Diamondbacks announced that they placed J.B. Wendelken on the injured list due to an unknown reason. He last pitched in Tuesday's game against the Dodgers where he went 1 inning with one hit and one walk allowed. Overall, he's pitched 8.1 innings of 4 ER ball with 3 walks to 4 Ks with a 4.32 ERA and 5.12 FIP. Not an ideal start for him. Hopefully he isn't injured too much and this is a short stay for the right-handed reliever.
To replace Wendelken, the Diamondbacks recalled Luis Frias from Triple-AAA Reno. The 23-year-old pitcher made his debut last year with a 3-game cup of coffee where he went 3.1 innings allowing one run with 5 walks and 3 Ks. He's a top-30 prospect for the team usually appearing around 15 or so.
So far, Frias has pitched well in Reno starting 3 games and pitching 13.2 innings of 3.29 ERA ball allowing 5 ERs while walking 5 and striking out 20. If Frias wants to remain long-term in the MLB, he must limit the walks while using his power fastball to get K's and limit the hard contact. He has a good amount of potential for the team.
The Diamondbacks released Oliver Perez after he was designated for assignment last week. The 40-year-old reached 20 years of MLB service time a couple of weeks ago but has struggled mightily this year. Over his 7 games, he went 1-1 with a 15.75 ERA across 4 innings allowing 8 hits, 7 ERs, 1 walk, and 1K. He just clearly didn't have it. It's quite likely Perez either retires or goes to the Mexican League to finish out his career. At least he's one of very few to reach 20 years of MLB service time!
The pitcher with the Force, Tyler Gilbert, was optioned to Reno to give him more pitching appearances with consistent work. He deserves to be in the MLB, but there's just not a rotation role available for the 27-year-old. I did say recently say that he would be optioned. Over his two games, one start, Gilbert has pitched 8.2 innings of 2.08 ERA/3.89 FIP baseball with 5 hits, 2 runs allowed, and walking 2 while striking out 6. Not bad at all.
Replacing Gilbert on the active roster is a newcomer to the 40-man roster and to the MLB. The Diamondbacks are calling up rookie left-hander Tyler Holton to make his MLB debut soon out of the bullpen.
Holton was originally drafted out of the 9th round from FSU in 2018. He didn't appear professionally in full-season baseball until 2021 due to Tommy John surgery in 2019. He started 21' in Double-AA and eventually reached Triple-AAA last year.
He's a strong ground-ball pitcher and generated ground balls at a 53.3% rate last year. So far this year, he has pitched 5 times culminating in 8 innings where he's given up 5 walks, 6 runs, and 12 hits, but has struck out ten. His fastball is high-80s, topping out at 90 or so while having a very strong changeup.
Holton will join Mantiply and Nelson as lefties out of the bullpen. Congrats on reaching the big leagues Tyler! Super pumped to have you with the team. Let's go Dbacks and Rally the Valley Suns!