The Diamondbacks selected the contract of infielder Buddy Kennedy from Triple-A Reno today, as part of a trio of roster moves. Outfielder Jake McCarthy was optioned to Triple-A to create space on the 26-man roster, while right-hander Humberto Castellanos was moved from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day IL, thus creating a spot for Kennedy on the 40-man roster.
Kennedy is acting as the DH in Arizona’s lineup tonight, and it will mark the Major League debut for the 23-year-old. A fifth-round pick for the Diamondbacks in the 2017 draft, Kennedy has hit well as a pro, including a .296/.384/.429 slash line over 229 plate appearances at Reno this season (his first taste of Triple-A ball).
MLB Pipeline rates Kennedy as the 21st-best prospect in the Snakes’ farm system, and according to the Pipeline scouting report, “he projects to be an average hitter who gets on base and collects 20 or so homers at the highest level.” Kennedy’s 2022 numbers have continued the improvement he showed last year in generating walks, and he makes solid contact. Defensively, Kennedy could fit best as a utilityman rather than an everyday infielder, as he has played mostly third base with some experience at second base and a handful of games as a first baseman.
Kennedy could work as the right-handed hitting complement to Josh Rojas at third base, or fit into the DH mix when a left-handed starter is on the mound (like tonight’s matchup against the Twins’ Devin Smeltzer). The Diamondbacks’ lineup is heavy on left-handed bats, and are near the bottom of the league in production against left-handed pitching, so some extra pop from the right side of the plate is definitely a need.
Castellanos hit the 15-day IL with a right elbow strain on June 1, and the righty will now be sidelined until at least the start of August. Over 44 1/3 innings for the D’Backs this season, Castellanos posted a 5.68 ERA.