Back in the Majors, Duplantier earns first win

May 10th, 2019

PHOENIX -- With the need for additional pitching, the D-backs optioned right-hander Taylor Clarke to Triple-A Reno and recalled Jon Duplantier on Thursday.

It’s a tough break for Clarke, who pitched well in a one-day stint earlier this year as a reliever, and again on Tuesday when he replaced Zack Godley in the rotation and allowed two runs over six innings against Tampa Bay.

That appeared to earn Clarke another start Sunday against the Braves, but when the D-backs used eight pitchers in a 13-inning win over the Rays on Wednesday, it depleted their bullpen and left them in need of a fresh arm.

Enter Duplantier, who is now in his third stint with the D-backs. Ranked as the organization’s No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Duplantier was called up under similar circumstances the previous two times as well. He earned his first win in the Majors after he struck out two in a scoreless 10th inning in Arizona's extra-inning 3-2 win over Atlanta on Thursday.

“It’s no mystery we played extra innings yesterday, and we tapped out our bullpen and we had to get a little bit of length, little bit of coverage,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “So [Duplantier] will be here to pitch out of the bullpen and give us a little coverage.”

The bigger question is who will start on Sunday in place of Clarke, who has to remain in the Minors for at least 10 days unless there is an injury and someone needs to be placed on the injured list.

“It’s hard to say,” Lovullo said. “We’re going to circle up and have some discussions.”

It’s possible the team could use Duplantier in that role, but it seems more likely that Godley could regain his spot after a pair of relief appearances against the Rays.

When he was taken out of the rotation, Godley was given some things to work on, and apparently has progressed in that regard.

“I think he’s thrown the ball extremely well, and I’m noticing some differences in a lot of the things that we sat down and talked about,” Lovullo said. “And it’s not easy to have those conversations, and he got some information that I’m sure he maybe agreed with, or perhaps didn’t agree with, but he took it, he was coachable, and he applied and we’re watching that play out.”