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D-backs designate Ildemaro Vargas for assignment, option Yoan Lopez

Arizona Diamondbacks' Ildemaro Vargas follows through on a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday that they have designated Ildemaro Vargas for assignment and optioned Yoan Lopez to the Alternate Training Site.

MLB teams were required to decrease their roster size from a maximum of 30 to 28 on Thursday.

Vargas swung a hot bat during practice and exhibition games before the season started, but he struggled over his eight appearances this season.

The 29-year-old was 3-for-20 with a walk and two runs scored.

“(Vargas is) somebody that has had some big moments here for us. We felt like we had players that could complement us in better ways inside of the system we wanted to see play and give and opportunity to. It was not an emotional decision but it was an emotional reaction,” manager Torey Lovullo said Thursday afternoon.

Over 92 games with the D-backs last season, Vargas hit .269 with six homers and 24 RBI.

Vargas is out of minor league options, which allows other teams to claim him.

“He meant a lot to me. He played the game with a passion and an energy that I appreciated,” Lovullo said. “He has a very endearing way with everybody around him. He was a good teammate. That means a lot to me, that means a lot to people in Arizona.”

Lopez had appeared in 4.1 innings over five games for Arizona. He did not allow a run in four of the games, but allowed a pair in the 11-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

Now 27 years old, Lopez had 70 appearances last season and posted a 3.41 ERA with a 1.137 WHIP.

“We have some tough decisions to make. We have some really good players inside of this system. That’s what it means to me,” Lovullo said. “With Yoan, I felt like we had seen him with better fastball command, we’ve seen him with better secondary stuff.”

Arizona is 4-8 through 12 games, but will look to keep offensive momentum after a 14-7 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

The D-backs will go for their first series win of the season Thursday night against the Astros. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

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