PHOENIX -- Since he signed his first professional contract in 2008 as a 16-year-old in Venezuela, Ildemaro Vargas dreamed of getting his first call to the big leagues.It finally arrived Thursday as the D-backs called him up from Triple-A Reno, but before Vargas could make his way to Chase Field,
PHOENIX -- Since he signed his first professional contract in 2008 as a 16-year-old in Venezuela, Ildemaro Vargas dreamed of getting his first call to the big leagues.
It finally arrived Thursday as the D-backs called him up from Triple-A Reno, but before Vargas could make his way to Chase Field, he had to stop at a sporting goods store to pick up a new pair of spikes.
Reno wears navy blue spikes, and that is not one of the colors that the D-backs can wear, so Vargas picked up a black pair. Sure, someone probably would've been able to find him a pair in the clubhouse, but after nine years of waiting, Vargas wasn't taking any chances.
Vargas, whom MLBPipeline.com ranks as the D-backs' 28th-best prospect, takes the place of pitcher Braden Shipley, who was optioned back to Reno after making two relief appearances. The move puts the D-backs back at their standard 12 pitchers. They had brought up Shipley to help out a taxed bullpen.
Vargas, who was signed as a Minor League free agent last offseason, impressed the D-backs' staff during Spring Training and then hit .303 with 24 doubles, six homers and 43 RBIs for Reno.
"The things I remember about him from Spring Training are his energy, his passion, his focus and his ability to play defense at multiple positions, the quality of his at-bats," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "He plays fearlessly. I don't think he's afraid of making a mistake, and I think all good big leaguers have that mindset where they attack the game defensively or offensively."
Vargas can play second, short and third in the infield and can also play the outfield if needed.
"For me this is a dream come true," Vargas said. "I want to say thank you to the Arizona organization for giving me the opportunity to sign with them this year. It has always been my dream since I was little."
D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock was scheduled to have Thursday off before playing in another injury rehabilitation game for Reno on Friday. It's possible he could be back this weekend, but it also may not be until next week.
Meanwhile, outfielder Yasmany Tomas was scheduled to play again for the D-backs' Arizona League team again Thursday.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.