D-backs OF Pavin Smith, INF Emmanuel Rivera optioned to Triple-A Reno

Mar 26, 2023, 9:49 AM | Updated: 9:49 am

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Sunday that outfielder Pavin Smith and infielder Emmanuel Rivera were optioned to Triple-A Reno.

Among other moves, INF Phillip Evans, C P.J. Higgins, INF Jake Hager and RHP Peter Solomon were reassigned to Minor League camp, the team said.

Smith struggled to find a role with Arizona in 2022, batting .220, hitting 33 RBIs and nine homers in 75 games. He appeared in 145 games with the D-backs in 2021.

Rivera joined the team at the trade deadline last season in a deal that sent Luke Weaver to the Kansas City Royals.

The infielder got off to a hot start in the Valley before hitting a major slump. He finished the season hitting .227, 18 RBIs and six home runs in 39 games in the National League.

With the two moves, it seems likely outfielder Kyle Lewis will receive the final roster spot for Opening Day when the D-backs take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers will throw left-handers Julio Urias on Opening Day and likely Clayton Kershaw in the third game of the series against Arizona, meaning more right-handed firepower at the plate is necessary.

With Carson Kelly, Mark Melancon and Corbin Martin all headed to the injured list to start the season, there is only one roster cut remaining before the regular season kicks off on Thursday.

The only decision remaining for manager Torey Lovullo and the team is whether Drey Jameson or Ryne Nelson will receive the No. 5 starting pitcher role.

Among the players assigned to minor league camp, Higgins was the most notable name.

With Higgins’ departure, it seems Jose Herrera is in line to receive the backup catcher spot to Gabriel Moreno after Kelly broke his forearm. Herrera is also Madison Bumgarner’s personal catcher.

Solomon had played well during Cactus League play and was making a case for a bullpen spot before being sent down. He posted a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and struck out five batters in four innings pitched.

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