For the second time in Oswaldo Arcia’s brief big-league career the Twins have activated him from the disabled list and demoted him to Triple-A after he had a starting job at the time of the initial injury.
In this case Arcia has been out for the past month with a hip injury and went 0-for-11 on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A, but there was nothing stopping the Twins from having him simply continue on the rehab stint.
Instead they activated him from the DL and turned the stay in Rochester into a straight-up demotion for a 24-year-old with 853 plate appearances and a .741 career OPS in the majors. Odder still, the Twins previously demoted designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Triple-A and they’ve been using light-hitting middle infielders Eduardo Escobar and Eduardo Nunez at DH.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.