Notes: Reynolds makes first ML start
Third baseman takes the spot of Tracy, who went on the DL
DENVER -- Mark Reynolds went 3-for-3 with a double and drove in a run Tuesday night against Jacksonville, but the Double-A infielder's night got exponentially better following the game.
Mobile manager Brett Butler called Reynolds into his office and told him he was headed to the big leagues.
"I was like wow," said Reynolds. "I didn't expect it at all. I was very surprised. It's still not really sinking in yet."
Reynolds takes the place of third baseman Chad Tracy, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained ribcage. Reynolds was in the starting lineup at third Wednesday and figures to get the bulk of the playing time there while Tracy heals.
"We looked at a lot of options and even though we'd rather not rush guys, he's done very well at Double-A with 250 at-bats over two seasons," Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said. "Really been solid all year this year with the bat, so he gets the nod. Obviously we think a lot of his future and obviously, because of the circumstances, we're going to get him to the big leagues maybe sooner than expected."
Those circumstances include infielder Alberto Callaspo being on the restricted list and injuries to Minor League infielders Brian Barden and Augie Ojeda injured. The team purchased the contract of Donnie Sadler last week when Callaspo became unavailable.
Defense has never been a strong suit for Reynolds, who split last season between Class A and Double-A where he played two days a week in left, two at third and one at second. This year he's played mainly at third and had committed 12 errors.
"I struggled at third early in the season, but I finally got comfortable over there," Reynolds said. "I've been swinging the bat well lately so this was the right time."
Smith claimed: With Reynolds having only played a little short last year in Class A and Donnie Sadler more of an option at second, third and the outfield, the D-backs still did not have a true backup shortstop. They feel like they filled that need by claiming infielder Jason Smith off waivers from the Blue Jays.
Smith played for the Rockies for part of 2006 before being designated for assignment and signing a Minor League deal with the Cubs. He was selected in the Rule 5 draft this past winter by the Blue Jays and made their team with a strong showing this spring.
The 29-year-old, though, struggled at the plate striking out 22 times in 52 at-bats. The Jays wanted to send him to Triple-A, but since he was a Rule 5 pick, he had to be placed on waivers first. Had he not been claimed he would have had to be offered back to the Cubs for half of the $50,000 the Jays paid for him this winter. The same holds true for Arizona, which has to keep him on the 25-man roster, or place him on waivers and offer him back to Chicago. Arizona paid $20,000 to claim him on waivers.
"I like him," manager Bob Melvin said. "We saw him here some in Colorado in years past. He can play anywhere in the infield. We really don't have a shortstop option behind Drew right now and he gives us coverage at all three spots and a guy that we've liked in the past."
Smith will join the club Thursday at which time the D-backs will have to make room on their 25-man roster for him. That likely would be Sadler going back to Triple-A.
Speaking of room: In order to get both Reynolds and Smith on the 40-man roster, the D-backs designated Minor League reliever Casey Daigle for assignment and transferred outfielder Jeff DaVanon from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.
Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster. DaVanon, who is still spending time in extended Spring Training, is eligible to come off the DL May 31.
Status quo: Byrnes said that there was nothing new with regards to the Callaspo situation.
Callaspo has filed a grievance against the D-backs for placing him on the restricted list. Players on the restricted list do not get paid while those on the suspended list do.
"Obviously I can't disclose everything we're trying to do to move the entire situation forward," Byrnes said. "A lot of it is out of our control, but we're really trying to operate with a sense of fairness and responsibility for everyone involved, certainly him included and our fans and the rules of our game. It's complicated and unfortunately it's something that doesn't happen quickly, but there's a lot of effort behind the scenes right now."
Tough for Tracy: Tracy took the news that he was going on the DL hard.
"It's very frustrating," he said. "I can get away with playing at 80 to 90 percent, but with this I'm at like 55 percent."
Up next: The D-backs wrap up this three-game series with the Rockies on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field. Afterwards, the D-backs will fly to Pittsburgh where they will open a three-game set with the Pirates on Friday night.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.