D-backs’ Jake McCarthy heads to Triple-A to refine swing mechanics, confidence

Apr 25, 2023, 6:18 PM | Updated: 7:20 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake McCarthy watches his two-run triple against the Philadelphia Phillies du...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake McCarthy watches his two-run triple against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned outfielder Jake McCarthy to Triple-A Reno on Tuesday, one of the team’s multi-talented speedsters.

Manager Torey Lovullo said it was a difficult decision, but that there are things he and the staff have identified that stand out at the big-league level.

“He was not getting his A-swing off enough,” Lovullo told reporters pregame.

“He was into his chipping B-swing, protect mode, identifying the baseball and confirming it. The greatest hitters can confirm things. … But they are elite and they are in the Hall of Fame. Jake was just trying to make contact instead of finishing his swing.”

McCarthy is 9-for-63 on the year (.143) with one homer, three RBIs, 12 strikeouts, two stolen bases and a -0.4 offensive WAR.

Unfortunately for the speedy outfielder, the D-backs have the most depth at the outfield position.

The team added Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the Daulton Varsho trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, who is off to a solid start to the year batting .256, 11 RBIs and one homer.

On top of new long-term signee Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Pavin Smith and Kyle Lewis (currently on injured list).

“Some of our starters are young and they’ll step up and they’re going to grow and they’re going to learn, they have to. When kids come up here from player development, they are stepping in into an environment where we expect them to contribute right away,” Lovullo told reporters on Monday.

“We got really talented players. So those players that come up from Triple-A, they need to be ready to go and they know that — that’s been our messaging. And not just ready to go, but performing at the level that we expect them to, so I expect that from any starting pitcher that comes up from Triple-A to be coming up here and help us win a baseball game.”

The D-backs manager mentioned how last season McCarthy was sent down and looked him in the eye and said, “I’ll do it, but I am not the right guy to send down.”

McCarthy obviously had a stellar ending to the 2022 season, leaving no doubt he would be apart of the outfield for this season.

This time around, McCarthy felt as if he knew he had stuff to work on and that a move to Reno may be the best option.

By sending down McCarthy, Arizona created flexibility on the right side of the infield, recalling right-handed corner infielder Emmanuel Rivera.

The Diamondbacks will face lefties on Wednesday in Kansas City Royals’ Ryan Yarbrough followed by Colorado Rockies’ Kyle Freeland and Austin Gomber.

Arizona now has three third basemen on the roster in Josh Rojas, Evan Longoria and Rivera.

Lovullo said the team will look to use two of them a night, with one being in the DH spot, but he feels incredibly confident in all of them defensively.

With how hot first baseman Pavin Smith has been swinging the bat and Christian Walker’s virtual lock on the position, Lovullo said Smith will get time in left field.

Smith was the DH in Tuesday’s matchup against the Royals.

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