Here’s the latest from around the NL West…
- The Padres have optioned infielder Ryan Schimpf to Triple-A, calling up right-hander Jose Valdez in a corresponding move. Despite Schimpf’s team-leading 14 homers, he has been an overall below-average performer at the plate, hitting .158/.284/.424 with a whopping 70 strikeouts over 197 plate appearances. A .145 BABIP is partially to blame, but as MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell notes, Schimpf has also seen a drop in average exit velocity, which is particularly damaging to an extreme fly ball hitter like Schimpf (and especially when such a hitter plays half his games at Petco Park). Cory Spangenberg will take over at third base for Schimpf, with second baseman Yangervis Solarte also moving over for the occasional start at the hot corner.
- The Dodgers activated southpaw Luis Avilan from the disabled list but placed another reliever on the injured list, as Sergio Romo will hit the 10-day DL with a left ankle sprain. Avilan (who has a 3.00 ERA, 2.5 K/BB rate and a 12.00 K/9 in 15 IP this year) has missed the last two weeks with triceps soreness in his throwing arm. It has been a much tougher ride for Romo in his first season as a Dodger; the former Giants closer has allowed five homers over his 19 2/3 IP to balloon his ERA up to 6.41. By comparison, Romo has only surrendered most than five homers in an entire season just twice in his previous nine years.
- Daniel Descalso tells the Arizona Republic’s Scott Bordow that the Diamondbacks were interested in him from the very beginning of free agency, and he picked the team in part because he felt he could fill a need for left-handed hitting infielders. The utilityman signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the D’Backs last winter that also includes a $2MM club option for 2018. Descalso said that he received interest from several teams over the offseason, including his former club, the Rockies.
- Descalso is one of many unheralded veterans signed by the Diamondbacks over what looked like a pretty low-key offseason on paper, As Bordow writes, however, players like Descalco, Gregor Blanco, Chris Iannetta, J.J. Hoover, and others have not only helped on the field, but manager Torey Lovullo credited their veteran experience with helping the younger players perform as well.