Varsho gets opportunity with Kelly on IL

June 20th, 2021

With starting catcher expected to miss significant time after sustaining a fractured right wrist Saturday night, the D-backs called up prospect from Triple-A Reno and this could be his first extended opportunity to catch at the big league level.

Varsho, who is a tremendous athlete, has appeared in 56 games over the past two seasons for the D-backs with 24 of his 39 starts coming in the outfield and five at DH. Varsho has played both center and right field this season for Arizona.

This time around, the D-backs will mainly play Varsho at catcher, the position he was drafted at in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

The only other catcher on the big league roster is veteran Stephen Vogt.

"He's going to get some opportunities," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of Varsho. "He's going to get most of his reps behind the plate. We have two catchers and whatever that rotation turns out to be, I think it's going to be his opportunity and I think he's ready to take advantage of that."

Varsho was slashing .313/.368/.750 for Reno. Earlier this year with the D-backs he hit .171 in 44 plate appearances.

Speaking of opportunities

The D-backs also recalled infielder/outfielder Josh VanMeter from Reno on Sunday. VanMeter, who was acquired from the Reds prior to last year's Trade Deadline, hit .194 for the D-backs in 2020. He opened the season with them this year, but was sent down after hitting just .159.

VanMeter did not get consistent playing time earlier this year, but Lovullo said that he will work to get VanMeter in the lineup more often and play him primarily at second and third base.

In 91 plate appearances with Reno, VanMeter was hitting .388/.538/.881 after making some adjustments following his demotion.

"He wasn't getting very consistent playing time [up here] and it was a very wobbly 2020 for everybody," Lovullo said. "He didn't get a lot of consistent at-bats before being traded over here and we just thought it was going to be a way for him to go down and work on some things and get his timing."