Dbacks ink pair of veteran pitchers to minor league deals

Tahoe Onstage

Baseball’s spring training starts this week.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

The Arizona Diamondbacks added a pair of veteran hurlers to its Triple-A Reno Aces farm system Saturday in right-hander Ricky Nolasco and lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Both players signed minor league deals and have received invitations to the Dbacks’ spring training.

Nolasco, 36, and Rzepczynski, 33, have a combined 20 years in the majors and both could add some depth to the bullpen and starting rotation.

Nolasco was a fourth-round pick by the Chicago Cubs in the 2001 MLB Amateur Draft coming out of Rialto High School in San Bernardino, California. He sports a career 4.56 ERA in over 312 starts with the Florida/Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels. Nolasco will look to crack the Dbacks’ 40-man roster after sitting out the 2018 season. He started 33 games in 2017.

Rzepczynski was a fifth-round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of California, Riverside. He pitched 10.1 innings with the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians last season.

Rzepcynski has bounced around the American and National leagues during his 10-year career. He has appeared in 506 total games with the Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Oakland A’s, Washington Nationals, Indians and Mariners.

The southpaw hurler is a tough assignment for left-handed batters, opponents have hit just .227 against Rzepczynski in his career. If Rzepcynski is able to make Arizona’s 25-man roster, he will earn a grand sum of $1.5 million for the season. His deal also includes $550k in incentives, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Aside from the big leagues, both players have pitched the Triple-A PCL league. Nolasco has made three separate appearances with the Iowa Cubs, Albuquerque Isotopes and New Orleans Baby Cakes. Rzepcynksi has toed the rubber with the Las Vegas 51s, Memphis Redbirds and Tacoma Rainiers.

The Aces make their home debut April 9 in a seven-game home stand against the Isotopes and El Paso Chihuahuas. Pitchers and catchers report on Tuesday. Position players report on Sunday, Feb. 17.

— Isaiah Burrows

About Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he writes sports for the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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