The D-Backs announced they’ve selected left-hander Tyler Holton onto the major league roster. Arizona placed reliever J.B. Wendelken on the injured list without a designation, recalled Luis Frias and optioned Tyler Gilbert to Triple-A Reno. The team also announced that veteran southpaw Oliver Pérez, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, has been released.
Arizona selected Holton in the ninth round of the 2018 draft out of Florida State. The Tallahassee native was one of the top pitchers in Division I ball in 2017, but he suffered a UCL tear that required Tommy John surgery early the next year. That kept him out of action until July 2019. Holton made 13 appearances between rookie and short-season ball that year, then didn’t pitch in games due to the canceled 2020 minor league season.
The D-Backs pushed Holton to Double-A to open 2021. He posted a 6.33 ERA in 48 1/3 innings but had above-average strikeout (26.2%), walk (6.1%) and ground-ball (53.3%) marks. He earned a late-season bump to Reno last year, and he’s made five appearances with the Aces thus far in 2022. Over eight innings, he’s allowed six runs on 12 hits (including a pair of homers) and five walks, but he’s punched out ten. Holton has never appeared on an organizational prospects list at Baseball America; Brendan Gawlowski and Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs included him as an honorable mention in their write-up of the Arizona farm this past offseason, noting that he throws an 88-90 MPH fastball and has a promising changeup.
Holton will join Joe Mantiply and Kyle Nelson as left-handed relief options for skipper Torey Lovullo. Pérez had been in that mix to open the year, but the D-Backs removed him from the roster on Monday. He’ll have the option to explore offers from all 30 teams now that he’s a free agent if he wants to continue playing in affiliated ball. Pérez had been set to play the 2022 campaign — which he’s already announced will be his last — with the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League before he landed with the D-Backs.