D-backs promote 6 minor leaguers; lose Gosewisch, 3 others

Tuffy Gosewisch hit .156 with three home runs in 33 games last season for the Diamondbacks.
Anthony Gruppuso/Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The Arizona Diamondbacks elevated six minor-league players to their 40-man major league roster, but in the process lost four players to other organizations.

Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch was claimed by the Atlanta Braves after he was placed on waivers to clear space on the 40-man roster. Likewise for pitchers Tyler Wagner (Texas Rangers), Edwin Escobar (Cleveland Indians) and Dominic Leone (Toronto Blue Jays).

While none were mainstays, the fact that other organizations claimed them could be interpreted as a sign of the D-backs’ organizational depth.

Managing the 40 spots on the major league roster is always a ticklish balanching act. If the team doesn’t promote its major-league eligible minor leaguers, they become subject to the Rule 5 Draft. Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons, and players signed at 19 or older have to be protected within four seasons.

Hence, the Diamondbacks opted for protecting the future when they elevated left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda, infielders Dawel Lugo, Jack Reinheimer, Domingo Leyba and Ildemaro Vargas and reliever Jimmie Sherfy to the 40-man.

Banda, 23, is rated as the organization’s No. 2 prospect and was its Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2016 after compiling a 10-6 record and 2.88 ERA in 26 starts. Reinheimer, 24, is rated the team’s No. 9 prospect, Lugo, 21, is No. 10 and Sherfy, 24, is No. 14. Sherfy ranked second among all minor leaguers last season with 30 saves.

The D-backs opted against promoting three other prospects who now will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft: Infielder Domingo Leyba, outfielder Victor Reyes and left-handed reliever Daniel Gibson.

Gosewisch, 33, grew up in the Phoenix area, starred at Horizon High School and Arizona State and was popular with the fans and in the clubhouse. He played 33 games for the D-backs last season after spending the bulk of the year at Triple-A Reno and has played in 126 games for the team over the past four seasons.

Wagner, 25, was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three games with the D-backs but was injured for much of the season. He was acquired a year ago in the Jean Segura-Chase Anderson trade.

Escobar, 24, was 1-2 with a 7.23 in 25 games (two starts).

Leone, 25, pitched in 25 games and had a 6.33 ERA.

The D-backs also designated for assignment first baseman Kyle Jensen and outfielder Gabby Guerrero. Jensen hit 30 home runs and drove in 120 runs for Reno last season he was called up in September.