The D-Backs announced this evening they’ve activated outfielder Jordan Luplow from the 10-day injured list. Outfielder Jake McCarthy was optioned to Triple-A Reno. Additionally, left-hander Tyler Gilbert was recalled from Triple-A, while veteran reliever Oliver Pérez was designated for assignment. Arizona’s 40-man roster now sits at 39.
The Diamondbacks acquired Luplow from the Rays over the offseason, sending infield prospect Ronny Simon to Tampa Bay. The right-handed hitting Luplow has a history of excellent offensive production when holding the platoon advantage. In 378 career plate appearances against southpaws, he owns a .245/.360/.549 line. That batting average isn’t eye-catching, but Luplow’s elite 14.3% walk rate and 23 home runs in that time result in a 139 wRC+ that indicates he’s been 39 percentage points above league average against lefties.
Luplow has been a below-average hitter against right-handers, making him a best fit for a corner outfield platoon. The D-Backs have lefty swingers David Peralta, Pavin Smith and Seth Beer as their primary corner outfielders and designated hitter, respectively. There should be plenty of opportunity for Luplow to spell those players against opposing southpaws. He missed the first few weeks of the season recovering from an oblique strain but figures to rotate fairly frequently into the outfield mix for manager Torey Lovullo.
Pérez signed a minor league deal with the Snakes shortly after the lockout lifted. He made the Opening Day roster but had a rough go in the desert. Over seven appearances, he’s tallied four innings of nine-run ball. Pérez has fanned just one of the 24 hitters he’s faced, and Arizona has decided to move forward with Joe Mantiply and Kyle Nelson as their top two southpaws in the bullpen.
The D-Backs have a week to trade Pérez or place him on waivers, and it remains to be seen whether the 40-year-old will look to continue his MLB career. Given his poor start to the year, it seems likely Pérez will clear waivers and wind up released. He’d likely find some minor league interest at that point, but it’s possible he may not have the desire to attempt to work his way back onto an MLB roster.
The Mexico native had been set to play the 2022 season with the Toros de Tijuana in his home country before signing with Arizona. At the time, Pérez announced that this year with the Toros would be his final in professional baseball. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if he returns to Tijuana if/when he’s officially let go by the D-Backs.