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D-backs option Taylor Clarke, Kevin Cron to Triple-A Reno

Taylor Clarke #45 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch in the first inning of a MLB game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field on July 19, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned pitcher Taylor Clarke and first baseman Kevin Cron to Triple-A Reno on Thursday.

Clarke appeared in 23 games for the D-backs last season and made 15 starts. He posted a 5.37 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP while giving up 23 home runs with 68 strikeouts and 30 walks.

While coronavirus ended spring training prematurely due to the coronavirus, Clarke was already fighting an uphill battle to make the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster with Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, Luke Weaver and Mike Leake the favorites to start. Merrill Kelly and Alex Young were also challengers to make the roster as starters or long relievers.

Clarke made eight starts in Triple-A last year, posting a 6.63 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

Cron saw 71 at-bats for the D-backs in 2019, his first year in the majors. He posted 15 hits, 16 RBIs and six home runs.

When the season is underway, Arizona is expected to roll with Christian Walker and Jake Lamb at first base.

Cron ripped 38 home runs in 82 games with the Reno Aces last season while slashing .331/.449/.777.

The Diamondbacks made the roster transactions Thursday on what was supposed to be their 2020 Opening Day. Arizona was scheduled to host the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field before the coronavirus pandemic ended spring training and postponed the regular season.

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