Take 3: Diamondbacks recall top pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt

Jul 22, 2023, 10:20 AM

Brandon Pfaadt...

Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Texas Rangers while making his Major League debut in the bottom of the second inning at Globe Life Field on May 03, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled 24-year-old starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt on Saturday ahead of their matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.

Arizona also optioned RPH Justin Martinez to Triple-A Reno.

Pfaadt, MLB’s No. 21 ranked prospect, returns to the big leagues for the third time this season after two difficult attempts.

The D-backs originally called him up in May and he made five starts with an 8.37 ERA.

Location issues led to hard contact as he surrendered 31 hits, including eight home runs. His highlight outing was May 14 against the San Francisco Giants, which was punctuated by five innings of one-run ball.

The D-backs optioned Pfaadt on May 27 and he spent the next month with Reno. Arizona recalled him for a start on June 29 against the Tampa Bay Rays, and he allowed six runs in two-plus innings with some of the same location mistakes plaguing him. He’s allowed the fourth-highest barrel rate out of 369 MLB pitchers this year at 10.4%, according to Statcast.

His results have been impressive in the minors leagues, as he boasts a 3.71 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 60.2 innings pitched in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

The key continues to be location for Pfaadt, who said he focused on getting more inside on righties last time he got called up.

The righty has a 92-95 mph heater with great spin, a sweeper, changeup and curveball.

The D-backs are relying on Pfaadt with Merrill Kelly and Zach Davies on the injured list. Kelly is expected to return next week against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Davies went on the IL Wednesday with back inflammation.

Arizona could opt for a bullpen day Sunday to help bridge the gap.

Pfaadt will match up on Saturday against Reds southpaw Brandon Williamson.

The 25-year-old has a 4.96 ERA in 11 starts but is coming off a six-inning, two-run outing against the Giants.

The team’s 40-man roster remains at 40.

First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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Take 3: Diamondbacks recall top pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt