Well, the hot stove has officially been sparked in Arizona.
Kevin Towers wasted no time getting things going by claiming utility man Matt Tuiasosopo from the Detroit Tigers. The former top Mariner prospect made his major league debut back in 2008 but was usually jettisoned back to the minors in no time. 2013 was his first full major league season and made good use of it, hitting .244/.351/.415 over 81 games (he spent considerable time on the DL), good for a 114 wRC+. He was on fire for the first few months of the season before getting injured and cooling off. He hit seven home runs over 191 at-bats and has always had some raw power.
He may be Eric Chavez‘ replacement, and here’s why: he can play third, he can play first and he hits right-handed pitching extremely well, which is weird because he’s right-handed himself. In fact, throughout his career, he’s always had a reverse platoon-split. As a bonus, Tuiasosopo is a useful left fielder, giving Towers and Gibson even more roster flexibility. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you’d like the lineup constructed, but the newest Diamondback will come off the bench the majority of the time and is a quality utility piece. In the meantime, we’ll have to see what this means for Chavez.
My feeling is that the team will try to bring Chavez back and stick Tuiasosopo in Reno as a quality insurance policy. That’s probably the best scenario here. If they can’t get Chavez re-signed, then Tuiasosopo may fill the void that Chavez leaves. Stay tuned on this one.
The acquisition of Tuiasosopo isn’t the only Diamondbacks transaction today, however. The Rangers claimed RHP Chaz Roe from Arizona this morning. Roe is a big righty who finally made his major league debut last season with Arizona after passing through the minor league organizations of Colorado and Seattle. He’s was excellent at recording strikeouts but walked too many batters to be truly effective. Roe will move on to his fourth organization since being drafted 32nd overall by the Rockies back in 2005.
With the likes of Barrett and Stites waiting in the wings as the future of the Arizona bullpen, this is not a significant loss. Roe was pretty fringy as a player and he’ll get a chance to change that in Arlington. If he can ever iron out the control issues, he may turn into something. Of course, there’s a strong chance we’ll never hear his name again, too, so there’s that.
Kevin Towers is clearly off his Halloween candy hangover and is making moves, so keep an eye out for what may be around the corner.
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