Arizona Diamondbacks option top prospect Jordan Lawlar to Triple-A Reno

Mar 10, 2024, 1:40 PM

Jordan Lawlar...

Jordan Lawlar #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes an out on a ball hit by Estevan Florial #90 of the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2023 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned five players to Triple-A Reno on Sunday, including No. 1 prospect Jordan Lawlar.

The D-backs also reassigned two players to minor league camp.

The players optioned to Reno outside of Lawlar were right-handed pitchers Justin Martinez, Cristian Mena and Peter Strzelecki as well as outfielder Jorge Barrosa. The players reassigned to minor league camp were left-handed pitcher Kyle Backhus and catcher Adrian Del Castillo.

Lawlar, a shortstop, made his MLB debut on Sept. 7 at the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in 14 total games last season, going 4-for-31 at the plate.

He played in three games in the postseason, taking a walk and scoring a run in Game 4 of the World Series against the Rangers. He hit .358 with five home runs in 16 Triple-A game before getting called up.

Lawlar being optioned to the Aces is a move that opens the door for more playing time early this season. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo named Geraldo Perdomo Arizona’s everyday starting shortstop earlier in spring training.

The backup shortstop battle will come down to veteran incumbents Jace Peterson and Emmanuel Rivera, non-roster invitees Elvis Andrus and Kevin Newman in addition to Arizona’s No. 20 prospect Blaze Alexander.

Martinez, Arizona’s No. 26 prospect, appeared in 10 games a season ago. The 22-year-old struggled with command, posting a 12.60 ERA in 10 innings pitched, but has an electric 100 mph fastball and a plus splitter.

Mena, acquired in an offseason deal with the Chicago White Sox for Dominic Fletcher, is the D-backs’ No. 11 prospect. The 21-year-old only has four Triple-A appearances in his minor league career so he will gain more experience pitching in Reno.

Barrosa, 22, batted .274 with a .394 on-base percentage last season in 120 games for the Aces. The switch-hitter is stuck behind the plethora of outfielders Arizona has.

Strzelecki can provide bullpen depth if the D-backs need it at some point this season. He appeared in 37 games between Milwaukee and Arizona last season — one with the D-backs — posting a 4.38 ERA.

Moving Del Castillo back to minor league camp narrows the Arizona backup catching battle to veteran non-roster invitee Tucker Barnhart and Jose Herrera.

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