20 July 2012
Two new additions to the Diamondbacks' roster on Friday - 3B Ryan Wheeler has been called up from AAA Reno, and RHP Brad Bergesen has been claimed off waivers from the Orioles. They will be taking the roster spots of 3B Geoff Blum, who will be released, and RHP Jonathan Albaladejo, who will go back to AAA.
Edit: It looks like Bergesen won't be able to join the team for Friday's game, so Albaladejo will stay on the roster a little longer.
Third Base has been a problem for the Diamondbacks all year, with the team trying Ryan Roberts, Willie Bloomquist, Cody Ransom, John McDonald, Josh Bell, and Blum at the position. As a group, the Diamondbacks' third basemen have hit .230/.281/.351, and their .632 OPS is 100 points lower than any other position on the team. Wheeler will get a chance to win the 3B job after hitting .351/.388/.572 at AAA Reno with 15 HR and a minor league-leading 90 RBI. He has hit very well in the hitter-friendly PCL, but it remains to be seen how well that translates to the Majors. One worry is Wheeler's low walk rate in the PCL - 26 BB in 399 Plate Appearances (6.5%), but he also has a fairly low strikeout rate (16.8%). He will make his Major League debut tonight against the Astros, batting 8th against Bud Norris.
With Josh Collmenter moving back to the starting rotation, Brad Bergesen will slide into the long relief role. He has started 59 games in the Majors, with a career 4.60 ERA as a starter, and an overall ERA of 4.68 in 394 IP. He doesn't strike out many batters (career 4.7 K/9), but he does get a lot of ground balls (47.3 GB%) and doesn't walk many (2.6 BB/9). He's the type of pitcher who needs his defense to make plays behind him.