Report: Diamondbacks DFA Tucker Barnhart with Gabriel Moreno set to return

Jun 30, 2024, 7:13 PM

Tucker Barnhart...

Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits an RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fifth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 12-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks designated veteran catcher Tucker Barnhart for assignment, azcentral’s Nick Piecoro first reported on Sunday.

The move signals starting catcher Gabriel Moreno will return from the 10-day injured list on Tuesday ahead of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona had to choose between backups Barnhart and Jose Herrera, and the club opted to move on from the former. The 33-year-old Barnhart signed with Arizona last offseason and did not have minor league options.

Barnhart departs after having taken over as the primary catcher in Moreno’s absence. He has 29 starts behind the dish this season, and Arizona is 16-13 in those games.

Neither Barnhart nor Herrera has been particularly impactful offensively. Barnhart’s OPS this season is .497, while Herrera has a career OPS of .497 in parts of three seasons with Arizona.

Barnhart is a two-time Gold Glover who won the backup job out of spring training.

“To be considered one of the best at one point in my career defensively, it’s all I could ask for, to be honest with you,” Barnhart told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo last week.

“So being able to be now backing up Gabi, who won his first Gold Glove last year, and who I’m very positive will win more in his career, it’s neat to see. I’ve been that guy, I’ve been the 23-, 24-, 25-year-old kid in the big leagues that’s been asked to carry a staff and to see it from a different point of view is really neat.”

Moreno is set to return on the 11th day since he landed on the IL with a left thumb sprain he suffered on a foul ball hit off his glove against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 21. Moreno played in an Arizona Complex League game on Saturday and was at Chase Field Sunday with the team ready to depart for Los Angeles.

Manager Torey Lovullo has been confident the IL stint was going to be minimal.

Moreno has played 61 games this season and is slashing .230/.313/.346 with three home runs. He had two hits, including a homer, in his last game. He remains one of the premier defensive catchers in MLB, especially when it comes to throwing out runners (35%).

Moreno, Herrera and Barnhart were the only three catchers on the 40-man roster, and Barnhart’s DFA will open a up a spot.

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