The Arizona Diamondbacks have placed infielder Willie Bloomquist on the disabled list with a strained lower back injury.
Bloomquist, 34, hit .300 with 22 RBI in 79 games with the D-backs this season. He had been trying to play through the lingering back injury for a few weeks.
In addition, the team has designated left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski for assignment, recalled right-handed pitcher Bryan Shaw and selected the contract of infielder Jake Elmore from Triple-A Reno.
“We sat him [Bloomquist] out for six days, played him one day and he just locked back up. You can’t play short there,” Manager Kirk Gibson said. “Elmore has had a great year down in Triple-A. He can play all the infield positions, although he doesn’t play first. He’s a scrappy guy, puts the bat on the ball, and can run a little bit so that’s where we filled it in.”
Elmore, 25, hit .344 with one home run, 73 RBI and 32 stolen bases in 108 games with Reno this season. He ranks seventh among all Minor Leaguers in runs scored and is second in stolen bases.
Triple-A Reno Aces coach Brett Butler even went as far as to tell Gibson that Elmore is the best two-whole hitter he has seen since he has been there.
“That’s kind of something we are looking for, someone who can put the bat on the ball. We kind of live and die off of the home run a little too much,” Gibson said. “So to have a guy that can put the bat on the ball, move some guys, get some things going when you’re not scoring runs is good.”
The 5-foot-9, 183-pounder was drafted by the D-backs in the 34th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University.
Elmore become the second Sun Devil to play for Arizona in club history, joining Bloomquist in his debut Saturday.
Elmore went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter Saturday, and flew out to right with two runners on in the eighth.
Shaw, 24, was 1-4 with a 4.26 ERA and two saves in 43 games with the Diamondbacks before being optioned to Reno on July 22. With the Aces Shaw was 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in eight appearances in 2012.
Zagurski, 29, was 0-0 with a 6.18 ERA in 32 games with Arizona in 2012. He was claimed by the D-backs off waivers from the Phillies in September of 2011.
The changes leave Arizona without a left-hander in the bullpen, a move that Gibson said isn’t a concern.
“I know KT [GM Kevin Towers] has been doing this long time. We have righties that get lefties out, so we’ll just have to approach it differently,” Gibson said. “There’s been bullpens that were really good without lefties in it throughout the history of the game. You just have to put different guys in different situations.”
Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report