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D-backs starting pitcher Anthony Banda to make MLB debut Saturday

Diamondbacks prospect Anthony Banda delivers a pitch at a spring training workout on Tuesday, March 7 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. (Photo by Nicole Vasquez/Cronkite News)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo announced Friday that starting pitcher Anthony Banda will be making his MLB debut Saturday.

Banda is filling in for Taijuan Walker, who is on the paternity list.

“Anthony’s been throwing the ball very well,” Lovullo said. “His walk-to-strikeout ratio was exceptional.

“Overall, he’s been growing and learning as a young pitcher. He’s been figuring out game-planning, understanding how important attacking game plans are and just growing as a young pitcher should in the minor leagues and player development (has) done a nice job with him.”

Banda was ranked a top-20 D-backs prospect by Baseball America after the 2014 and 2015 seasons but made a rapid jump to No. 1 overall after the 2016 season.

The 23-year-old lefty was part of the return for Arizona in the 2014 Gerardo Parra deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

In Triple-A Reno this season, Banda has made 18 starts, going 7-5 with a 5.08 ERA. It is his first full season at the level after beginning 2016 in Double-A Mobile.

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