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The Arizona Diamondbacks are starting Triple-A Reno pitcher Alex Young on Thursday, manager Torey Lovullo announced after Tuesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The D-backs finalized the roster move before the game Thursday by selecting Young’s contract and optioning reliever Stefan Crichton to the Aces. Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was transferred to the 60-day injured list to open room on the 40-man roster for Young.
“I remember a couple of his outings, I remember a couple things that he did in spring training,” Lovullo said Wednesday of Young. “I was impressed with the short looks that we got. And that’s what spring training’s all about: make a positive impression on the staff. You know you’re not going to make the team, you’re there just for a quick shot.”
Young had been expected to be called up by the D-backs, as 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station‘s John Gambadoro said Tuesday. As of Wednesday, he was still not on the roster, but he had joined the team.
“We wanted to get him here and just get him close to the guys, some new faces,” Lovullo said. “He hasn’t spent a lot of time around a lot of these guys. So just to use that as a comfort day just to get in here and get his feet on the ground.”
Young is a 25-year-old left-hander who has yet to make his MLB debut since being drafted in the second round by Arizona in 2015.
Arizona could use another arm as it has struggled to get quality starting pitching from their fifth spot in the rotation. Top pitching prospect Jon Duplantier has been hurt, as has Luke Weaver. Lovullo told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday that Zack Godley will go back to the bullpen.
Young owns a 6.09 ERA in 20 appearances in Reno this year, eight of those appearances being starts. He has thrown 54.2 innings and has a 1.683 WHIP. In fairness to Young, the Aces play in a hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
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His ERA in eight starts this season is 5.79 in 32.2 innings pitched.
The Illinois native attended Texas Christian University and had a 1.29 ERA in his first season of professional baseball. In nine starts with Double-A Jackson last season, Young had an ERA of 3.91. It was 5.96 in Reno last year.
Crichton, a 27-year-old right-hander, has made eight appearances for Arizona this season and has a 4.50 ERA over 10 innings. This was his second stint of the season with the D-backs.
He was originally acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in April of 2018 for cash before being released in June of that year. He was then signed to a minor-league contract by Arizona and pitched in Triple-A to wrap up last season and begin 2019.