D-backs recall Caleb Joseph, option Jon Duplantier to Triple-A Reno
PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks made a roster move following Tuesday night’s walk-off win, optioning top pitching prospect Jon Duplantier to Triple-A Reno.
The corresponding move was announced the following morning as the D-backs recalled catcher Caleb Joseph from Reno. Arizona put catcher Alex Avila on the 10-day IL on Sunday with a strained left quad.
The moves mean the D-backs now have three catchers again — something the team has been known to do under the leadership of GM Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo.
“Super excited to have Caleb back,” Lovullo said. “He was a late send-out in spring training, and those are always very difficult, especially with what he’s offered the major league team, the Baltimore Orioles, he was such a huge part of.”
Lovullo said that Joseph being recalled is not necessarily a sign that Avila’s injury would have a longer timeline than originally anticipated.
Joseph batted .250 with two home runs in 24 plate appearances with the team in spring training. He is a career .224 hitter in 402 games over five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.
With Carson Kelly and John Ryan Murphy also on the roster, it’s not clear yet exactly how or when Joseph will be used. But when asked if there were any particular pitchers he connected with in spring training, Joseph did mention that he caught Merrill Kelly in his last three spring starts.
“That’s the guy I caught the most,” he said. “But I was able to catch everybody during the spring and that was really good, so you don’t feel like you’re coming into a situation where you don’t know the guy. That’s important as a catcher, to not really feel caught off-guard.”
As for Duplantier, the 24-year-old made two appearances with the team since being called up on April 1.
In his MLB debut, Duplantier tossed three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two to earn the save. He followed that performance up against the Boston Red Sox on April 7, pitching another scoreless inning with one hit and one strikeout.
The D-backs went 1-1 in the two games Duplantier appeared in.
“He is somebody that we’re going to lean on and look to as a starter here in the future, so we felt like the best thing for him and his development would be to get him out and getting him in the starting rotation again down in Reno,” Lovullo said. “Doesn’t mean we won’t see him again as a reliever — we’ll pick the best options when that arises.”
Lovullo added that while the team’s priority is winning at the big league level, the team felt good about its options in the bullpen for now.
Arizona will look to take the two-game sweep over the Rangers on Wednesday.
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