PHOENIX -- For the second time this week, the D-backs have designated a veteran pitcher for assignment, cutting ties with closer Greg Holland on Wednesday.
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Unlike in past years, players cannot be traded on a waiver claim in August. So if a club claims Holland off waivers in the next 10 days, it will owe him the remainder of his $3.25 million salary. If Holland clears waivers and rejects an assignment to the Minors, he would become a free agent and could sign with any team, likely for the prorated minimum salary. Holland must be on a Major League roster by Aug. 31 to be eligible to pitch in the postseason.
On Monday, the D-backs designated right-hander Zack Godley for assignment, and he was claimed Wednesday by the Blue Jays.
Since blowing back-to-back saves against the Dodgers on July 2-3, Holland struggled mightily. Including those two outings, he had an 11.42 ERA in 12 games, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo took him out of the closer’s role a little over a week ago.
“We thought it would take some pressure off him, but it didn’t get better,” Lovullo said. “It was just the command, not being able to land pitches or get big outs at times. Those are the things that we have to pay attention to, especially at this time of year, [when] we have a lot of young pitchers that we’re excited about and we want to get a look at them and we feel like they can come in at some meaningful moments and help us win some baseball games. Trust me, it was a very difficult decision.”
On Monday, the club called up right-hander Kevin Ginkel and lefty Robby Scott from Triple-A Reno.
Taking Holland’s place
The D-backs activated infielder/outfielder Blake Swihart from the injured list Wednesday to take Holland’s spot on the roster.
That leaves Arizona with 12 pitchers and 13 position players, a combination that the organization typically favors.
Swihart had been on the 60-day injured list since June 1 with a strained right oblique.
Starter Luke Weaver, who has been on the injured list since May 27 with a mild right flexor pronator strain and a mild right UCL sprain, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday. It would be the first time the right-hander has thrown off a mound since the injuries occurred.
The D-backs are hopeful that Weaver can return before the end of the season, even if it is in a bullpen role.
“We’re super pleased with how he’s feeling and the reports that he’s given us,” Lovullo said. “This is good news. This is very good news. He’s very excited about how he’s feeling. We’re not going to fast-forward it though. We’re not going to do anything just because he says he’s feeling good. We’re going to follow the protocol, but it’s a good sign.”