Torey Lovullo: Drey Jameson ‘lacked fastball consistency, command on secondary stuff’

Apr 25, 2023, 7:00 AM

Arizona Diamondbacks Drey Jameson...

Drey Jameson #99 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on April 18, 2023 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks made a rather surprising roster move on Monday by optioning right-handed pitcher Drey Jameson down to Triple-A Reno.

“It was just the lack of fastball consistency, his inability to command secondary stuff,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Monday.

“We felt like he’s becoming one-dimensional out over the plate and we just needed to get back into that form that we have seen, we saw last year, we’ve seen in spurts this year and go prepare to get dominant again.”

After Jameson lost the No. 5 starter battle to friend and minor league roommate Ryne Nelson in spring training, he began the year in the bullpen before replacing Zach Davies (left oblique strain) in the rotation.

In six appearances this season (three starts) Jameson is 2-1 with a save, 3.71 ERA and 1.52 WHIP to go along with 16 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Unfortunately for the 25-year-old right-hander, he only lasted one inning in his last start on Sunday — a 43-pitch frame with three runs scored en route to a 7-5 San Diego Padres victory.

“These are hard pills for young players to swallow. All they want to do is get here and learn and continue to pitch here and I get that, but we’re very competitive team,” Lovullo said. “We’ve got a lot of competitive understudies and we feel like the best thing for Drey at this point in time would be to go down, get his timing, get his rhythm and find his stuff.

“Good Major League hitters, when they know you’re throwing a fastball, will get wood on a bullet. I stand by his ability to make pitches and when he does, he’s going to find his way back here.”

Lovullo added that Jameson will remain a starting pitcher when asked if he would consider putting the right-hander back in the bullpen.

The skipper also spoke to Jameson’s character and accountability when delivering the news to the young right-hander.

“He took it good. I think he’s disappointed, as he should be,” Lovullo said. “I don’t think anybody that gets that news when they’re going down is happy to be hearing it.

“But we had a good conversation and the thing that stands out most to me is that in some of the questions that I asked him — I asked him to speak up — he was accountable and sometimes players will run from the truth. He does not and that’s one of those great gifts.”

For now, who replaces Jameson in the starting rotation is up in the air. The Diamondbacks could elect to go with a four-man rotation until May 9, as the team’s off days would still allow for the proper rest. However, Lovullo would prefer to stick with the traditional five-man rotation.

“We looked at the off days. It is not a consideration for us right now,” he said.

And in terms of who is waiting in the ranks for an opportunity, all eyes turn to D-backs No. 3 prospect and 24-year-old Brandon Pfaadt, as the 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander has yet to make his MLB debut.

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