Diamondbacks Make Additional Roster Moves

Just under two weeks ago the Arizona Diamondbacks made a slew of roster changes setting their 40-man roster. I found the timing of that somewhat interesting since they entered the free agent period with no openings on the roster.

This leads you to believe that any changes that will occur will be the result of a trade rather than a free agent signing. Not only a trade; but one that would include a member of their 40-man roster.

Had the team waited until this week as expected you would safely assume that the Diamondbacks were filling slots to protect minor league players from being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft that occurs on the final day of the Winter Meetings.

So it was a little surprising to hear the Diamondbacks announce they had designated two players for assignment freeing up spots on the 40-man roster.

The Diamondbacks sent catcher Luke Carlin to the Triple-A Reno Aces. This was to be expected. Carlin was a late season call-up for the Diamondbacks and appeared in ten games. In that time he hit .167 with just 3 hits.

Carlin was signed to a minor league contract this past June after playing in the San Diego Padres organization. At age 29, he has been classified as a career minor leaguer. That may be an unfair label but no one ever said baseball was fair.

For the Reno Aces Carlin split time with Diamondbacks prospect John Hester. He had a good season by all accounts hitting .321 in 72 games with 7 home runs and 35 RBIs. With the Diamondbacks having two good catchers in starter Miguel Montero and former starter Chris Snyder plus an up-and-coming catcher in John Hester; Carlin was a victim of the numbers game.

The Diamondbacks are hoping that Carlin will accept the assignment to Reno and return to the Aces. If not he will become a minor league free agent.

The second roster move was a little more puzzling. The Diamondbacks designated right-handed pitcher Kyler Newby to Triple-A Reno. Newby was a 50th round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004 and has been steadily progressing through the farm system.

For 2009 Newby played for the Mobile BayBears where he appeared in 42 games accumulating a 3.99 ERA for the year. The scouting report on Newby showed him to have strikeout stuff and was relatively efficient in his pitch selection.

The problem has been that Newby has been fairly erratic in his control as seen in his walk total of 24 in just 65 innings of work. At only 24 years old the Diamondbacks had high hopes for Newby so it is interesting to see them remove him from the 40-man roster.

If Newby accepts the assignment to Triple-A Reno it would be a step up from where he was last year. The question will be whether he will remain with the Diamondbacks or will he be selected in the Rule 5 Draft?

As of now the Diamondbacks have 38 slots filled in their 40-man roster giving the team flexibility in next week’s Winter Meetings. This could mean they are close to a deal and needed the roster spot or more likely after the dust settled they have their eye on a player they are hoping to add through the Rule 5 Draft.

Either way the team is set up to make some deals this off-season and has given them some roster space latitude to play with. The stage has now been set, let the off-season dealing begin.

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