TODAY: The D’Backs have officially announced that Young’s contract has been selected. Stefan Crichton was optioned to Triple-A and Steven Souza Jr. was moved to the 60-day injured list to create the necessary roster space for Young to join the club.
YESTERDAY: Diamondbacks corner infielder Jake Lamb will return Wednesday after a long stay on the injured list, manager Torey Lovullo told Zach Buchanan of The Athletic and other reporters. Lovullo also announced the Diamondbacks plan to select Triple-A left-hander Alex Young to start in San Francisco on Thursday. Arizona will need to make a corresponding 40-man move when it officially adds Young.
This will go down as the second straight truncated season for Lamb, a 2017 All-Star third baseman whose 2018 concluded after 56 games because of left shoulder surgery. Lamb came back this year to suffer a Grade 2 left quad strain in early April, knocking him out for almost three months.
The 28-year-old Lamb has been a regular presence in the Diamondbacks’ lineup for a large portion of his career. However, playing time may not be as easy to come by for him this season. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar has been one of the Diamondbacks’ best players, while Christian Walker has held his own at first base since Lamb went down. The Diamondbacks could shift Escobar to second base and Ketel Marte to center field to create opportunities for Lamb, writes the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro, though he notes that looks infeasible at the moment with Marte’s recovering from a groin injury. Lovullo’s unsure when Marte will be able to return to the outfield, per Piecoro.
Young joined the Diamondbacks as a high draft pick in 2015, when they used the 43rd overall choice on him. Despite Young’s draft pedigree, he doesn’t rank among the D-backs’ top 32 prospects at FanGraphs or their top 30 at MLB.com. The 25-year-old has been pitching with Reno of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League since last season, and has combined for a 6.01 ERA with 8.4 K/9 an 3.3 BB/9 in 134 2/3 innings at the level.
Young’s promotion will be Arizona’s latest attempt to get passable production from the back end of its rotation. Zack Godley and Taylor Clarke haven’t been able to step up during the injury-forced absences of Luke Weaver, Taijuan Walker and Jon Duplantier.