Diamondbacks roster moves: Tommy Henry optioned, Eduardo Rodriguez moved to 60-day IL

Apr 17, 2024, 10:07 AM | Updated: 11:39 am

Tommy Henry...

Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on April 16, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned starting pitcher Tommy Henry among a slew of roster moves announced Wednesday before their series finale against the Chicago Cubs.

Starter Eduardo Rodriguez was transferred to the 60-day injured list (left shoulder) to open a 40-man roster spot, eliminating any chance he debuts before late May. Rodriguez went on the 15-day IL retroactive to March 25 after suffering a lat strain in spring training.

Lovullo said he was likely to be out that long, anyway, and a June debut is most likely at this point.

“I want to believe he’s going to get strong and get healthy and magically come back sooner than later,” Lovullo said. “But I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’re going to slow play this.”

Arizona also recalled right-handed relief pitcher Justin Martinez, selected the contract of southpaw Logan Allen and optioned Luis Frias to Triple-A Reno to have coverage in the bullpen.

Why was Tommy Henry optioned?

Henry will spend at least the next 15 days in the minor leagues (barring injury) with veteran Jordan Montgomery set to join the rotation Friday at the San Francisco Giants. The D-backs had a decision to make between Henry and Ryne Nelson to stick in the rotation.

Nelson had his best start of the year Saturday with six innings and one earned run, while Henry surrendered five earned runs in 4.1 against the Cubs on Tuesday. Four of those earned runs came in the fifth inning.

Lovullo said he’s looking for better consistency after Henry started the year with a 6.87 ERA through four starts.

“These are hard decisions, we’ve got three young pitchers who are still finding their way,” Lovullo said. “We felt like Tommy’s lack of consistency, not really pitching beyond the fifth inning and doing things we know he’s capable of was the main reason why and we told him that. I know he’s gonna go down and find that consistency with his delivery and finish off hitters and not get into so many three-ball counts or hitter counts.”

Diamondbacks add to the bullpen

The pitching moves come after back-to-back extra-inning games and with no days off until April 25.

Arizona’s bullpen has been taxed over the past two games, piling up six innings in Monday’s 3-2 loss and 5.2 frames in Tuesday’s 12-11 victory over the Cubs.

Kevin Ginkel, Kyle Nelson and Miguel Castro threw in both games, while long reliever Bryce Jarvis tossed 47 pitches across Sunday and Monday. Lovullo alluded to roster moves coming postgame Tuesday.

Martinez returns fresh having last pitched on Saturday for the Aces. He has been Reno’s closer this year with three saves, allowing two earned runs in 6.2 innings.

The 22-year-old already has 14 strikeouts to three walks, as control has been the key to an arm that can pump 100 mph and has a plus splitter.

The Diamondbacks gave Martinez his first cup of coffee last year, as he went 10 innings with 14 earned runs in large part due to 11 walks and a couple home runs.

Lovullo said the reports on Martinez this year given his objectives to get ahead and find better control in the zone have been positive.

“Been working his butt off, and the last outing in Tacoma he was boasting about getting a feel for his fastball,” Lovullo said. “He’s filling up the zone, and he’s been very dedicated working hard on the things we asked him to.”

Allen signed a minor-league deal with the club this past offseason with an invite to major league spring training. He has made three appearances with two starts in Reno this season, someone who could provide bulk innings.

The 26-year-old and once-considered top-100 prospect has not thrown in a major league game since 2022.

Frias had one more MiLB option, and he heads back to Reno after allowing seven earned runs in 6.1 innings this year with Arizona. He faced three hitters on Tuesday, all of whom reached base.

“His best time has yet to come here, he’s got so much talent,” Lovullo said. “He’s had an opportunity to go out and show us that in small spurts but it just hasn’t happened yet.”

The Diamondbacks will roll with a starting rotation of Nelson, Montgomery, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly for their four-game set at Oracle Park.

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