D-backs promote top prospect Jordan Lawlar for stretch run, DFA veteran Nick Ahmed

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted top prospect Jordan Lawlar to the big leagues Wednesday as they fight for a playoff spot.

The 21-year-old Lawlar was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 draft. The shortstop — who is the No. 7 prospect in the sport, according to MLB.com — was recently promoted to Triple-A Reno and has been hitting extremely well, batting .359 with five homers and 19 RBIs.

“He’s going to play,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don’t know what the menu is. We’ve had so many moving parts to what’s been happening over the last 12 hours, that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and think about how I’m going to inject him into this lineup.”

To make room on the roster, the D-backs designated two-time Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed for assignment.

Lawlar is joining the team as it reaches a crucial stretch. The D-backs are about to embark on an eight-game trip that includes four games against the Chicago Cubs, who are also chasing a wild-card spot.

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“I just think he needs to come up here and be himself,” D-backs rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll said. “I think he has a lot of resources here, a lot of veteran guys, and some young guys as well, who can share experiences with him.”

The Diamondbacks are among several teams fighting for one of the three wild-card positions in the National League. They beat the Rockies 12-5 on Wednesday, improving to 72-68.

The Arizona Republic first reported that Lawlar was being promoted.

Ahmed has been with the team since 2014 and won Gold Gloves in 2018 and 2019. But the 33-year-old was hurt most of last year and is hitting just .212 in a part-time role this season.

Lovullo said it was difficult to break the news to Ahmed, but the shortstop handled the news like “a total pro.”

“He’s just a good human being who was engaged every single day when he came to the ballpark to do everything he possibly could to help this team win a baseball game,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

The D-backs were busy Wednesday, also claiming catcher Seby Zavala on waivers from the Chicago White Sox and promoting right-hander pitcher Ryne Nelson from Triple-A. Nelson will start against the Cubs on Thursday.

Catcher Jose Herrera and right-handed pitcher Bryce Jarvis were sent to Triple-A.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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