Diamondbacks option RHP Cristian Mena after MLB debut, recall Joe Jacques

Jul 4, 2024, 3:01 PM | Updated: 4:32 pm


D-backs vs. Dodgers on July 3, 2024. (Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)

(Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)

LOS ANGELES — The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned pitching prospect Cristian Mena to Triple-A Reno following his major league debut Wednesday at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona recalled left-hander Joe Jacques ahead of Thursday’s series finale in Los Angeles for bullpen coverage.

Mena faced adversity right away in his debut, allowing four runs before recording his first out. Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernandez took him deep in the first inning.

The 21-year-old, though, pushed through three innings without further damage, exiting the game with a 5-4 lead en route to a D-backs 12-4 victory.

Mena said postgame not everything went as planned during the outing, but it was a dream come true to pitch in the major leagues.

“Proud of him … love the body language,” first baseman Christian Walker said postgame. “That’s a tough lineup to work through. You get behind like that early and have the courage to go back out there and make your adjustments and trust your stuff, that’s special.”

Mena struck out Chris Taylor for his first MLB K, and he punched out Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani on a curveball down.

After the game, manager Torey Lovullo said “we’re going over that right now. We’re discussing what that’ll be for his next turn. So we’re not sure at this point,” regarding Mena’s next start, which will now be back with Reno.

Mena joined the active roster in place of veteran left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who landed on the 15-day injured list with knee inflammation.

“There probably won’t be any tougher environment during the regular season that he’s going to have to step into,” Lovullo said postgame. “I call it sightlines. He knows what it looks like to stand on a big league mound and have to make pitches, and he’s going to take that experience with him.”

The D-backs are a starter short with Mena’s spot in the rotation lined up for Monday at the Atlanta Braves. Tommy Henry last started on June 30.

Lovullo said a bullpen game was discussed, but the D-backs will opt to fill that rotation spot. With whom is to be determined.

D-backs recall Joe Jacques

Jacques has yet to pitch for the D-backs this season. He is a 29-year-old reliever whom Arizona claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox on April 23. This is his second recall.

He has a 4.58 ERA with 10 strikeouts and eight walks in Reno this season (17.2 innings). He joined Joe Mantiply as the sole left-handers in Arizona’s bullpen. Mantiply made 27 pitches over two appearances during the first two games of this series.

“There’s more work that needs to be done … he’s gonna go out and continue to flourish the best way he knows how, but he’ll be right now in the minor leagues,” Lovullo said of Mena. “But Joe, we wanted a left-hander, so he’s back. He came up for a couple days, and we just felt like a lefty was of need with this particular opponent.

First pitch on Thursday is at 6:10 p.m. with Zac Gallen on the mound for the D-backs against Landon Knack of the Dodgers.

Catch the game on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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