The Arizona Diamondbacks removed outfielder Yasmany Tomas from the 40-man roster on Monday afternoon and outrighted him to Triple-A Reno, hours before beginning a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field.
The D-Backs optioned the 27-year-old Tomas to Reno last Sunday after he did not make the Opening Day roster. Despite being limited to only 47 games due to injury last season, Tomas was only a year removed from a 31-home-run season, and after he hit .293 this spring, the D-Backs still very much believe in Tomas’ offensive abilities, but defense has never been a strength of his and that is something the team values.
“We lined out some things for Yasmany,” manager Torey Lovullo said to reporters last Sunday. “He had a great camp offensively, but defensively we’re still trying to piece together his game. He needs to go and work on his defense. It’s adequate, but we want it to improve on a level where he is going to be an above-average defender.”
“Right now with Steven out, we’re looking at probably more of a defensive alignment; versatility, mixing and matching, in order to get through this period until Steven gets back.” general manager Mike Hazen said to reporters on Sunday.
Tomas has posted a -30 RDRS, which is Baseball Info Solutions equivalent to defensive runs saved and is used by Baseball Reference. In addition, his career RF/9, or Range Factor per nine innings, of 1.61 is well below the league average of 2.06 for the years that Tomas has played.
The humidor at Chase Field, which should cause certain baseballs that normally would leave the yard to stay in play, should put a premium on mistake-free defense.
Tomas is the D-Backs highest-paid player, with three years and close to 46 million remaining on his contract.
In a separate transaction, the D-Backs acquired RHP Stefan Crichton from the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations. Crichton was optioned to Triple-A Reno and will take Tomas’ 40-man roster spot.
Crichton owns a 3.46 ERA in 270.1 career innings in the minor leagues with 242 strikeouts and 65 walks. He had a nice year at Triple-A Norfolk, pitching to a 7-3 record and a 3.02 ERA in 29 appearances (47.2 IP). Crichton struggled in his first stint at the big league level, pitching to a 8.03 ERA in 8 games.
The Dodgers Come to Town
Scouting Report: After being shut out 1-0 in each of the first two games against the San Francisco Giants on solo home runs by Joe Panik, the Dodgers (2-2) scored a combined 14 runs on Saturday and Sunday to earn a series split against their biggest rival. Los Angeles beat San Francisco, 9-0, on Sunday night, so they will arrive at Chase Field feeling good.
Pitching Prowess: The Giants scored only two runs against the Dodgers starters and relievers in four games. As you might imagine, manager Dave Roberts‘ team enters Monday with the lowest ERA in the majors, 0.50.
Goldy Time?: Paul Goldschmidt went hitless against the Rockies, but he loves facing the Dodgers. His 28 home runs and 90 RBIs are the most by an active player against Los Angeles.
Last Laugh: The D-Backs took the regular season series from the Dodgers, 11-8, and the final four meetings by a combined score of 40-13. But Los Angeles swept Arizona in the NLDS, winning the first two at Dodger Stadium and Game 3 at Chase Field.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
In Other News
– As he tries to work back from a strained left oblique injury suffered in March, Randall Delgado threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday.
– The Reno Aces (Triple-A) and Visalia Rawhide (Class-A Advanced) announced their rosters for Opening Day. Both teams begin the 2018 season at home on Thursday night.