The D-backs announced on Wednesday that they have designated right-hander Matt Stites for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for fellow right-hander Cody Hall, who was acquired from the Giants earlier today in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Stites, 25, was acquired alongside Joe Thatcher and a Competitive Balance (Round B) draft pick in the 2013 trade that sent right-hander Ian Kennedy to the division-rival Padres. Stites posted solid minor league numbers in 2014, recording a 2.89 ERA with a 23-to-9 K/BB ratio in 28 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. However, after those results earned him a trip to the big leagues, he struggled in the Majors. This past season, he saw those difficulties carry over into his minor league work as well, as his 3.86 ERA at the Triple-A level was accompanied by an unsightly 14 walks and 14 strikeouts.
All told, the former 17th-round pick has posted a 7.13 ERA in 41 2/3 innings with the Major League team between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. While those results aren’t encouraging, Stites has averaged a hefty 95.4 mph on his heater over the course of his time in the Majors and does have very strong numbers at the Double-A level. As a prospect, he drew praise for his 94-98 mph heater and sharp slider. Prior to the 2014 campaign, Baseball America ranked him ninth among D-backs farmhands and wrote that he possessed the best control.