Diamondbacks Call-up Second Wave

Just a day after the Diamondbacks called-up four players, the team expanded the roster a second time adding two additional pitchers for the much beleaguered bullpen. Both pitchers are left-handed giving manager Kirk Gibson more alternatives to align match-ups late in the game.

Zach Kroenke came to the Arizona Diamondbacks through the Rule 5 Draft last December. A member of the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees, In 2009 Kroenke was named to the International League All-Star team.

Kroenke had a record of 7-1 with a 1.99 ERA in 36 games for the Yankees Triple-A team. The Diamondbacks had long coveted the left-hander and selected him during the Major League section of the Rule 5 Draft.

Arizona hoped he would be able to make the team out of Spring Training but he was inconsistent and was offered back to the Yankees when it became apparent that he would not make the Major League club.

The two teams worked out a deal where Arizona was able to keep Kroenke assigning him to the Triple-A Reno Aces. This season Kroenke appeared in 40 games for the Aces starting 9 of those. He accumulated a 7-3 record with an ERA of 3.51 in 97.1 innings of work.

The second player called-up from Reno was Mike Hampton. Hampton has had a long Major League career as a starter but has seen more than his share of injuries that have shelved him for long periods of time.

Hampton signed a minor league contract with Arizona last month and has been working in Reno to gain arm strength and begin adjusting to throwing out of the bullpen.

Hampton has had some success at the minor league level in his short stint with the Aces and hopes to be able to bring some much-needed veteran experience to the young Diamondbacks bullpen.

The Diamondbacks are hoping that using Hampton as a reliever will allow him to protect against injury better and give them a situational left-hander who can not only get out lefties but also give right-handed batters a few problems.

Look for the month of September to be an extended try-out for both of these players to help the team determine whether they will fit into the 2011 plans and beyond.

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