Diamondbacks to recall prospect Blake Walston for Sunday start vs. Marlins

May 25, 2024, 10:15 PM | Updated: May 26, 2024, 12:34 pm

Blake Walston...

Blake Walston #48 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a fourth inning pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on May 01, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. It is Walston's first career MLB game. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect Blake Walston will make his first career major league start Sunday against the Miami Marlins, manager Torey Lovullo announced postgame Saturday.

The D-backs recall him from Triple-A Reno and announce pitcher Matt Bowman has been designated for assignment.

The D-backs had acquired Bowman in a trade with the Minnesota Twins on May 2 after he was DFA’d by the Twins.

In four appearances with the D-backs, Bowman struggled as he gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings pitched.

Walston had a locker set up in the clubhouse before Saturday’s game. He will slide into the open rotation spot left by Arizona optioning right-hander Slade Cecconi this week.

“I’m really excited to watch him go out there and work and get a chance to start a baseball game,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said before the game Sunday.

“He’s just trending in a good way. It’s a four-pitch mix, he’s got a really good feel for the baseball, can manipulate the ball and he can pitch backwards if he needs to, he can attack the zone and we’re all really excited for him.”

Lovullo also called the young pitcher a success story of the organization’s player development staff.

Walston made his MLB debut on May 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in relief. He gave the D-backs 3.2 innings with two earned runs and five strikeouts. He went three scoreless innings before a trio of walks burned him in his fourth frame.

“Not one of my best outings. I always want to have something a little bit better,” Walston said after the debut. “Wasted a little too many pitches and got in some counts that I was behind in … Those are things I can clean up and make the rest of the season a lot easier for me.”

Walston is Arizona’s No. 25 prospect on MLB Pipeline with a 4.54 ERA in 35.2 innings pitched for Reno. He has racked up 35 strikeouts with 20 walks and a 1.63 WHIP. His last appearance was Tuesday.

The Diamondbacks continue to manage the rotation without Merrill Kelly or Eduardo Rodriguez. Kelly has yet to start his throwing program, while Rodriguez has been tossing but not yet off a mound.

Lovullo said the idea of going with a four-man rotation so long as each pitcher gets a normal rest has come up. That is not something they plan to turn to at this point in the season.

“Given where we’re at and the depth we do have, we haven’t gotten to that part of of the conversation where I think we’re gonna execute it,” Lovullo said. “If it were August, and we felt like the matchups were very favorable and everybody was still getting four days in between, we’d certainly consider it.”


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