D-backs call up Wheeler; release Blum
That's the only adjective that can be used to describe the numbers posted by third baseman Ryan Wheeler at Triple-A Reno this season.
The numbers were so impressive, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks made the call to bring up Wheeler to the big club in time for the beginning of their weekend three-game series with the Houston Astros.
Wheeler, a 24-year-old left-handed hitter, was fourth in the Pacific Coast League in batting with a .351 average. He was also leading the PCL with 90 RBI (in 93 games) and ranked tied for eighth with 15 home runs.
The Loyola Marymount product was a fifth round selection of the Diamondbacks in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, and has put up solid numbers since turning pro. In 1,825 minor league at-bats, Wheeler is hitting .313 with 49 home runs and 287 RBI.
General manager Kevin Towers was a guest of Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 on July 3 and was asked specifically about Wheeler and his progress in Reno.
"He's a good-looking player. He had a good Fall League for us this past winter and performed very well in a tough Southern League playing first, third and a little bit of left," Towers said. "The key for him is defense, kind of the way it was for (Paul Goldschmidt). I think this kid's going to hit, he's got a really fast bat. He doesn't stay in the zone a lot but his strength is probably opposite, more to left-center than pull-type power.
"Great kid, but probably needs to improve on his defense both at first and third because in the National League you need to play on both sides of the ball. We're not looking for DHs here, but he's certainly somebody who's on our radar."
Meanwhile, veteran infielder Geoff Blum tweeted about the end of his Diamondbacks' career.
Blum's tenure with the Diamondbacks was plagued by injury. In 40 games over the last two seasons, Blum batted .195 with two home runs and 11 runs batted in.
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