The Diamondbacks announced a handful of roster moves before tonight’s game against the Rockies. Closer Mark Melancon is back from the COVID-19 injured list, while utilityman Josh Rojas has been reinstated from the 10-day IL. To create active roster space, Arizona optioned right-hander Corbin Martin to Triple-A Reno and designated infielder Sergio Alcántara for assignment. The team’s 40-man roster tally remains at 38.
Rojas opened the year on the shelf after suffering an oblique strain in Spring Training. That cost him the first month of the year, a disappointing development after the left-handed hitter showed pretty well last season. Over 550 plate appearances, Rojas hit .264/.341/.411 with 11 home runs and nine stolen bases. He drew walks at a solid 10.5% clip while striking out a hair more often than the average batter.
It was a decent performance for the 27-year-old in his first full MLB season. Acquired from the Astros as part of the four-player return for Zack Greinke, Rojas has overcome a modest 26th-round draft status to develop into a capable hitter. He’s a versatile defender — he suited up at each of second base, third base, shortstop and in both corner outfield spots — but he’s a bat-first player who hasn’t rated particularly well with the glove anywhere on the infield.
Now that he’s back to full strength, Rojas figures to take over as the Snakes’ primary third baseman. Arizona has gotten league-worst production out of the hot corner in the early going, with a group of five players combining for a woeful .160/.209/.247 slash line. The switch-hitting Alcántara has taken 45 of the 88 plate appearances there, but he’s limped to a .189/.200/.321 start overall.
Arizona acquired Alcántara from the Cubs for cash considerations during Spring Training. It was the second stint in the D-Backs organization for the slick-fielding shortstop. Alcántara hasn’t offered much at the plate during his MLB career, however, as he’s coming off a .205/.303/.327 showing in 255 trips for the North Siders. He’s out of minor league option years, so the D-Backs had to designate him for assignment if they’d determined not to continue carrying him on the active roster as he scuffled offensively. They’ll now have a week to trade him or try to to run him through waivers.
Melancon, meanwhile, went on the IL last Friday after contracting the virus. Signed to a two-year deal over the offseason, the veteran closer has collected four saves and tossed eight innings of three-run ball in his new environs. He’ll step back into the ninth inning for skipper Torey Lovullo.