The D-backs announced today that they’ve assigned right-handers Braden Shipley and Artie Lewicki outright to Triple-A Reno after the pair cleared waivers. The moves bring their 40-man roster to a total of 33 players.
It’s a disappointing outcome for Shipley, whom Arizona drafted with the 15th overall selection back in 2013. The former University of Nevada-Reno standout has accumulated exactly 100 innings at the big league level over the past three seasons but been hit hard, posting a 5.49 ERA with just 64 strikeouts against 45 walks in that time. Beyond lackluster K/BB numbers, home runs have been an issue for Shipley, who has served up 19 long balls in those 100 innings.
Shipley will turn 27 later this offseason and could yet emerge as a viable MLB arm, but he’ll have to first rebuild some stock in the upper minors. He’s coming off a pair of poor seasons in Triple-A but had some success with the Aces in 2016, when he logged a 3.70 ERA and 3.75 FIP in 119 1/3 innings of work.
The 26-year-old Lewicki (27 in April) was claimed off waivers from the Tigers earlier this offseason. He won’t pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery late in the year. As noted at the time, it seemed unlikely that he’d last the entire winter on the 40-man roster because of that fact, but the D-backs have succeeded in removing him from the 40-man while retaining his rights, so he could be an option for them in 2020.
Lewicki has generally turned in quality results in the upper minors but has yet to have much success as a big leaguer. In 2018, he threw 38 1/3 innings of 4.89 ERA ball with 7.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9 and a 40.3 percent ground-ball rate with the Tigers. However, he posted a 2.03 ERA with terrific K/BB numbers in Triple-A in 2017 and owns an overall 3.79 ERA with 8.5 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 92 2/3 innings at the top minor league level.