GM Hazen: Call-ups aren’t the easy fix for D-backs’ batting woes
Ten runs scored during the Arizona Diamondbacks’ four-game losing streak heading into Wednesday has coincided with an offensive boon for their minor-league affiliate in Reno.
Specifically, the bats of Kevin Cron and Yasmany Tomas have been red-hot for Triple-A Reno. While the Aces’ RBI leaders are making noise to be called up to the big league club, D-backs general manager Mike Hazen believes a solution to Arizona’s recent offensive stagnation isn’t so simple.
“My argument (to that) is, one-through-seven in our lineup or innings one-through-seven against starting pitching is where these games are being lost,” Hazen told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “… We need to get the main cogs in our lineup going on a more regular basis to fix it.”
The Diamondbacks have produced 28 runs in the past six games, not bad considering they are batting just .205, which is the third-worst mark in baseball over the past seven days. An offensive outburst by the Aces on Monday only added fuel to the potential that Arizona could turn to a call-up to address its four-game skid.
Against the Tacoma Rainiers, Tomas smashed four home runs, while Cron added two.
Heading into Wednesday, Cron’s line reads .335/.432/.807 with 21 homers and 62 RBI.
Tomas is slashing .308/.337/.604 with 14 runs and 38 RBI through 43 games.
“He is tearing the cover off the ball, clearly. Just from a makeup standpoint … he’s a stud. He’s a great kid,” Hazen said of Tomas, who is not on the D-backs’ 40-man roster but is still under contract as the highest-paid position player. “I think the challenge for us is, if people are still healthy … Where do you play him on an everyday basis? Could you call him up as a pinch-hitter? Of course you could.
“I don’t think a lot of these games are coming down to a pinch-hit. Having him on the roster not playing him, you’re in the same box he is right now.”
Hazen did admit that Arizona could call up one of the hot hitters from Triple-A if there’s a need the next time the D-backs play an American League road game. That won’t happen until a three-game series begins June 7 in Toronto.
Injuries could press the issue further.
The Diamondbacks just lost infielder Wilmer Flores, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a foot contusion. Outfielder David Peralta left a loss to the Padres on Tuesday with a shoulder issue.
“We’re not anticipating it being a significant thing,” Hazen said of Peralta’s injury. “He dove the other day in a game … he sat out that one game (on Saturday) shortly thereafter. I just think it kind of tightened up on him a little bit last night. We’ll see how he is today. We’re hoping it’s not a long-term thing.”
Answers, Hazen hopes, will come in the form of the D-backs lineup simply finding itself after producing as a top-10 offense through the first month-and-a-half of 2019.