The D-Backs announced they’ve placed closer Mark Melancon on the injured list. His placement was without a designation, indicating it’s related to COVID-19. Keynan Middleton was selected to take his place on the roster. Additionally, Arizona recalled Caleb Smith from Triple-A Reno and optioned southpaw Tyler Holton.
Melancon is the second Arizona reliever lost to the COVID list in as many days. The Snakes also placed J.B. Wendelken on the IL yesterday. Placement on the list can indicate a positive test, viral symptoms or exposure to a person who has tested positive. It isn’t clear whether Melancon has tested positive.
Middleton signed a minor league deal over the offseason. The righty has appeared in each of the past five MLB seasons, spending his career with the Angels and Mariners. Middleton had some strong numbers early on with Los Angeles, but he’s struggled since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. Last season, he tossed 31 innings of 4.94 ERA ball, only striking out 17.1% of batters faced while walking 13.6% of opponents.
Assigned to Reno to open the year, the 28-year-old has made seven appearances. He’s worked 7 1/3 frames of one-run ball, punching out nine while allowing five hits and three walks. That promising start will earn him another chance in the big leagues.