The D-backs announced Monday that they’ve claimed righty Sean Poppen off waivers from the Rays. Right-hander Stefan Crichton, who’d been with the club as a Covid-19 replacement player, was returned to Triple-A Reno in a corresponding roster move. Because Crichton had been selected to the roster as a replacement player, he didn’t need to be put through outright waivers to be sent back to Reno.
Poppen, 27, has seen brief big league action in each of the past three seasons, totaling 21 1/3 innings between the Twins, Pirates and Rays. He pitched just two-thirds of an inning for Tampa Bay this season and another 4 2/3 frames with the Pirates early in the year. The rest of his MLB experience has come in Minnesota. Overall, he carries a 6.33 ERA but a much more palatable 3.85 FIP and 4.12 SIERA in that small sample of work.
Poppen has spent parts of two seasons in Triple-A and pitched quite well — particularly with the Rays’ top affiliate so far in 2021. He’s thrown 28 1/3 frames of 1.59 ERA with Durham while also notching strong strikeout, walk and ground-ball percentages (26.8, 9.8 and 64.3, respectively). Poppen is in his final option year, so he can be shuttled between Reno and Phoenix as the D-backs see fit for the remainder of the 2021 campaign. He’ll be out of options at season’s end, however, so the D-backs won’t be able to send him down next spring unless they first pass him through outright waivers.