The Diamondbacks announced a series of roster moves, including the placement of left-hander Kyle Nelson and outfielder Cooper Hummel on the injured list. No designation was specified, which indicates that the placements are related to COVID-19. With right-hander Edwin Uceta also optioned to Triple-A after yesterday’s game, the D’Backs will fill the three roster vacancies with infielder Yonny Hernandez and right-handers Luis Frias and Jacob Webb. Frias was called up from Triple-A, while Hernandez and Webb were recalled from the taxi squad.
Nelson has been one of the most effective members of Arizona’s bullpen, posting a 1.23 ERA, 30.2% strikeout rate, and a 3.8% walk rate over his first 14 2/3 innings of the season. After struggling at both the Triple-A level and in 10 1/3 big league innings with Cleveland in 2019-20, Nelson’s early-season performance could indicate that he has harnessed the big strikeout potential he showed throughout his minor league career. The Diamondbacks claimed Nelson off waivers from the Guardians back in November.
Hummel is in his rookie season, with a .190/.313/.345 slash line (92 wRC+ and OPS+) to show for his first 99 plate appearances as a big leaguer. The switch-hitter has seen a lot of DH and pinch-hitting duty, and Hummel has also received some starts in left field when a left-hander is on the mound (thus relegating David Peralta to the bench). Hernandez is also a switch-hitter, though Jordan Luplow figures to more directly take over Hummel’s role while Hummel is sidelined.
As always with the COVID list, it is possible Nelson or Hummel could be activated as early as tomorrow, if their placement was only due to a close-contact situation or symptoms without a positive test. If either has tested positive, Nelson/Hummel will miss a minimum of 10 days, unless they meet the criteria (two negative tests, clearance from three physicians, 24 hours without a fever) for early activation.