Carlos Vargas earns final D-backs bullpen spot, Mantiply to IL

Mar 28, 2023, 11:29 AM | Updated: 4:27 pm

Carlos Vargas, Arizona Diamondbacks...

This is a 2023 photo of Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Carlos Vargas. This image reflects the Arizona Diamondbacks' active roster as of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, when this image was taken in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Diamondbacks righty Carlos Vargas has made the Opening Day roster, skipper Torey Lovullo announced Tuesday.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro first reported the move.

The reliever won the final bullpen spot in a competition with non-roster challenger Ryan Hendrix.

It wasn’t all good news from Lovullo, however, with reliever Joe Mantiply heading to the injured list with shoulder fatigue. Lovullo added it should be a minimal stay on the IL and that he’s not overly concerned with the issue.

This past spring, Mantiply posted an 8.53 ERA and 1.89 WHIP across 6.1 innings pitched. He struck out five and didn’t register a walk in six games played.

In his place is Kyle Nelson, who the team recalled from Triple-A Reno.

Vargas and Nelson join a bullpen that to begin the 2023 regular season on Thursday is expected to include Miguel Castro, Andrew Chafin (LHP), Kevin Ginkel, Drey Jameson, Scott McGough and Cole Sulser.

Mark Melancon and Corbin Martin are also expected to be in the mix at some point but will begin the year on the injured list.

Arizona traded for Vargas in November, acquiring him from the Cleveland Guardians for right-handed pitcher Ross Carver.

Vargas has only appeared at the Triple-A level and this spring played in 11 games. Vargas (2.61 ERA) allowed 11 hits and three earned runs (one home run) in 10.1 frames, striking out 14 and walking four.

Hendrix, who has 45 games of MLB experience with the Cincinnati Reds over the past two years, appeared in nine games this spring. He posted a 4.50 ERA by allowing four earned runs and three homers over 8.0 frames of work.

The D-backs also landed on Jose Herrera as the backup catcher to up-and-comer Gabriel Moreno. Moreno slid into the No. 1 spot with Carson Kelly out with a forearm break to begin 2023.

The Diamondbacks left open the possibility that they could seek an external option. Herrera, 26, appeared in 47 for the MLB club last season.

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