Arizona Diamondbacks option OF Alek Thomas to Triple-A Reno

Sep 26, 2022, 1:16 PM

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday that rookie outfielder Alek Thomas was optioned to Triple-A Reno.

The corresponding roster move with Thomas heading to the minors was the team activating outfielder Jake McCarthy from the bereavement list.

Thomas blossomed at the MLB level defensively, registering seven defensive runs saved over 907.1 innings in center field. However, he struggled to keep up the hot offensive start that began his major league career.

While his seven defensive runs saved tied for sixth among all center fielders, he hit just .231 with a .619 OPS in 411 plate appearances. Since May 22, he’s hit .218 with a .571 OPS. Thomas is now 1-for-31 dating back to Sept. 10.

With McCarthy returning from the bereavement list, opportunities for Thomas to get consistent playing time might’ve dwindled. Especially in an outfield full of young talent, as Corbin Carroll, Daulton Varsho and Stone Garrett have all impressed.

The decision to option Thomas may be performance-based, but there’s also an abundance of left-handed bats in the D-backs outfield. At full health, they deploy Thomas, McCarthy, Carroll and Varsho — four lefties. Traditionally, teams rotate one right-handed outfield bat to platoon with a lefty. However, Thomas’ defense is great, McCarthy hits lefties at a .293 clip and Carroll is the team’s top prospect.

That’s not even including Varsho, who is tied for the team-lead in FanGraphs’ wins above replacement, as well as second in home runs and RBIs.

With eight games left in the 2022 season, the D-backs (71-83) look to finish on a high note. While a .500 record is out of reach, there’s still a chance to finish third in the NL West.

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