The Diamondbacks will place right-hander Luke Weaver on the 10-day injured list following his recent shoulder discomfort and call up right-hander Corbin Martin to make his team debut in one of the remaining games of this four-game set against the Dodgers, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM reports (via Twitter).
Weaver, 27, exited his most recent outing with shoulder discomfort but expressed optimism after the fact that he could remedy the issue with a change to his mechanics. At the time the righty was optimistic that he’d avoid the injured list, but Gambadoro indicates that Weaver won’t make his scheduled start against the Rockies on Friday and is indeed IL-bound.
Acquired from the Cardinals as part of the Paul Goldschmidt trade, Weaver had an up-and-down season so far, sandwiching four ineffective starts between four pretty strong outings — two on either end of that rough stretch. Overall, the former first-rounder has a 4.50 ERA through 40 innings with a slightly below-average 22.8 percent strikeout rate but a better-than-average 7.8 percent walk rate. He’ll join Zac Gallen and Taylor Widener on an increasingly crowded D-backs injured list that also currently holds position players Ketel Marte, Asdrubal Cabrera, Christian Walker, Carson Kelly and Kole Calhoun.
Turning to the 25-year-old Martin, his promotion is of plenty note for the D-backs, who thought highly enough of the 2017 second-rounder to make him one of the key pieces they received from the Astros in return for Zack Greinke. Martin was on the injured list at the time, having undergone Tommy John surgery earlier in the 2019 season, but he entered that year regarded as one of the game’s 100 best prospects, ranking 78th at Baseball America and 81st at MLB.com. Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs currently ranks Martin as the D-backs’ No. 6 prospect and the No. 114 prospect in baseball.
Martin did get his feet wet with the ’Stros before falling to that UCL injury, albeit in a small sample of 19 2/3 innings. He was roughed up for 14 runs in that time (two unearned), but his prospect pedigree and excellent minor league track record give plenty of hope that he can eventually be a big piece of the Arizona staff. He’s tossed 9 2/3 innings in Triple-A Reno this year and yielded only two runs with a 14-to-6 K/BB ratio.
The 2019 injury, the canceled 2020 minor league season and the delayed 2021 minor league campaign have all combined to limit Martin to a total of 201 2/3 innings in the minors, but he’s excelled at every level. The righty carries a career 2.54 ERA, a strong 27.8 percent strikeout rate, an 8.4 percent walk rate and a hearty 53.2 percent grounder rate in that time. He’s been as effective in Triple-A as he was in Double-A, logging a 2.87 ERA with 59 punchouts in 47 innings, although his 24 walks at that level are a bit more troubling. That’s the only level at which Martin has struggled with free passes, though, and scouting reports generally give him credit for average or above-average command.
Given last year’s lack of innings and the fact that he’s working back from major elbow surgery, Martin will probably see his workload managed rather judiciously in 2021. Still, his promotion gives the D-backs and their fans a first glimpse at a pitcher the club hopes can be a prominent contributor to the starting staff for the foreseeable future. If he sticks on the MLB roster this year, the D-backs would control him all the way through the 2025 season, but future optional assignments could push his free agency back even further.