Diamondbacks OF Jorge Barrosa’s short-notice MLB call-up

Apr 1, 2024, 6:09 PM

Alek Thomas and Jorge Barrosa...

Alek Thomas and Jorge Barrosa of the Arizona Diamondbacks walk across the field before Game Two of the World Series against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on October 28, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks outfield prospect Jorge Barrosa hopped on a flight from Las Vegas to Phoenix Sunday evening unsure whether his moment had finally arrived.

D-backs center fielder Alek Thomas injured his hamstring in a game on Sunday, so Triple-A Reno manager Blake Lalli and bench coach Shawn Roof told Barrosa he was called to Arizona in case Thomas needed to go on the injured list.

It was difficult for Barrosa to get any sleep at his place in town, as he was constantly checking his phone for an update.

Thomas underwent imaging on his left hamstring on Monday, which showed what manager Torey Lovullo described as a “high” Grade 1 strain. Thomas was placed on the 10-day IL, and farm director Shaun Larkin alerted Barrosa hours before first pitch against the New York Yankees at Chase Field he’d been called up.

“It was exciting, I don’t know the emotions or what I feel,” Barrosa giddily said in dugout pregame. “Man, it was great.”

The 23-year-old from Venezuela told his wife and then his mother he had reached the major leagues.

Barrosa has spent a lot of time around the major leaguers. He was in big league camp until March 10 when he was optioned to Reno and on the taxi squad during Arizona’s postseason run.

“Being around all those guys, man, it’s just crazy,” Barrosa said. “To learn something small everyday or something big … that helped me a lot.”

Barrosa called Thomas “his guy,” saying he was sad to hear about the injury but grateful for the opportunity to fill in.

The 5-foot-5 switch hitter was not in Monday’s lineup against a right-handed pitcher with the left-handed Jake McCarthy sliding into right field and Corbin Carroll moving to center. But the Yankees will start southpaws on Tuesday and Wednesday, an opportunity to get Barrosa’s bat in there.

Barrosa slashed .274/.394./456 last year with the Aces, hitting 13 home runs and stealing 15 bases.

“He is well above average as a defender … he fearlessly practices his craft and goes out every single day to get better and I think that translates,” Lovullo said. “He is known as a very good defender but he’s also a pretty good hitter. I don’t want to undersell that side of it. We feel very good about his ability. He’ll get some chances in center field.”

Thomas was frustrated but not surprised by his diagnosis, saying he’s never been injured before.

But he called Barrosa a little brother, one he’s excited to see get a chance.

“He can go get it in center field,” Thomas said. “I played with him a little bit and in Reno and I can see that there’s definitely something special about him … It’d be really cool to see him play.”

Barrosa said a successful debut would involve doing something, no matter how small, to help the club get a win.

“The opportunity comes and I’m ready for it,” Barrosa said. “Just trust. Like, I’m not gonna try to do too much more than what I’ve been doing. I’m gonna be me.”

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