The Diamondbacks and left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett are in agreement on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
Crockett, who turned 28 over the weekend, was in camp with the Athletics last spring but didn’t make the team and didn’t pitch in affiliated ball during the 2019 season. A fourth-round pick by the Indians back in 2013, he blitzed through the minors and debuted with Cleveland barely a year after being selected. Crockett’s rookie campaign was nothing short of brilliant, too, as he tossed 30 innings with a 1.80 ERA (3.23 FIP) and turned in a 28-to-8 K/BB ratio out of the bullpen.
The University of Virginia product might’ve looked like a potential bullpen fixture at that point, but things didn’t play out that way. Rather, Crockett was given just 17 2/3 innings in the Majors the following year in 2015 and, in 28 2/3 Triple-A innings with Columbus that season, barely kept his ERA south of 6.00. In all, since that eye-opening MLB debut in ’14, Crockett has tossed 44 2/3 frames in the Majors with a 5.04 ERA. To his credit, his 45-to-17 K/BB ratio and mere two home runs allowed are encouraging aspects of his work in that time.
The D-backs could pick up some more experienced left-handed help in free agency or on the trade market, but as the roster is currently constructed, Crockett looks like he’ll at least have an opportunity to vie for a job this spring. Andrew Chafin is the lone left-handed reliever on the Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster, unless the team plans to move 2019 rotation member Alex Young to the ’pen in 2020.