Hall: Matt Koch demotion more about schedule than performance
The two-month Matt Koch experiment yielded seven team wins for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 12 starts, while filling in for injured starting pitchers Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray.
On Wednesday, Koch was optioned to Triple-A Reno following his latest effort, a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.
But D-backs president Derrick Hall told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf that the move had more to do with the team’s upcoming schedule.
“We’re in a stretch now where we’re going through the longest period of time of the season without days off, so we really needed some bullpen help. The plan was, regardless of how he threw the other day in Anaheim, to option him down so we could get an arm up here,” Hall said.
Koch went 3-1 in his final five starts for the D-backs. He has posted a 5-4 record from when he was called up on April 20 and was one out away from averaging 6.0 innings per start.
“Matt Koch is going to be fine. He has proven that he can be in the rotation. He has proven that he is a major league pitcher and he is going to be back and he’s going to impact this team for sure,” Hall said.
He finished his stint with a 4.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 38:17 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
“The way the rotation fell on the calendar, it just made the most sense with this long stretch without off days. What more does he have to prove? He did a great job. He attacks hitters. He attacks the strike zone. He is not afraid and he did everything we could have asked for filling in for Taijuan Walker,” Hall said.
The D-backs begin an 18-day stretch without an off day starting Thursday on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The D-backs recalled Jake Barrett from Reno to bolster the bullpen for the 18-day marathon stretch of the calendar.