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D-backs recall Taylor Clarke, designate John Ryan Murphy for assignment

(AP photos)

The Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday recalled pitcher Taylor Clarke from Triple-A Reno and in a corresponding move, designated catcher John Ryan Murphy for assignment.

The D-backs hope Clarke can be a solution to a turbulent final starting pitching role that’s mostly been occupied by Zack Godley this season.

Clarke, who was brought up to start Saturday against San Francisco, has pitched in two games this season.

He earned the first save of his career in his MLB debut on April 20 against the Chicago Cubs, throwing three scoreless innings in a victory.

Clarke was brought up to start in place of Godley on May 7 against Tampa Bay and allowed two runs in six innings in a losing effort.

In seven starts for Reno in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Clarke has posted a 7.22 ERA in 33.2 innings.

Murphy’s departure will have the most effect on D-backs ace Zack Greinke.

Murphy was named Greinke’s personal catcher before the start of the season.

Greinke’s had a spectacular season so far — he has a 2.89 ERA in 71.2 innings — but Murphy was having another below-average year at the plate.

The catcher was hitting just .177 in 62 at-bats this season and hit .195 over parts of three seasons with the D-backs.

Murphy’s exit could mean the D-backs are transitioning away from the three-catcher system that’s been a staple for Arizona under manager Torey Lovullo.

Carson Kelly and Alex Avila will likely platoon behind the plate now without Murphy as an option. Outfielder Blake Swihart has seen time at catcher, though, and Caleb Joseph remains an option in the minors.

Kelly and Avila are hitting .244 and .259, respectively, this season.

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