The Reno Aces will play its home opener Tuesday with a full “Decker.”
First baseman Cody Decker was transferred Sunday from extended spring to Triple-A Reno. The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled outfielder/infielder Tim Locastro.
Three more moves were made Tuesday afternoon: Infielder Marty Herum was transferred from Double-A Jackson to Reno, pitcher Joel Payamps was placed on the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Ryan Grotjohn was sent to Single-A Visalia.
Decker, 32, batted .268 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 63 games with the Triple-A squad last season. He clubbed three home runs in his first two games when he joined the Aces a year ago. He is three round-trippers shy of 200 career home runs in 995 games with 13 minor league teams.
The loquacious first baseman became an Aces’ fan-favorite last year after seasons as a rival player.
“The fan base here has been good at really tearing me to shreds,” he told Tahoe Onstage last season. “But I’ve buried the hatchet with (Aces’ mascot) Archie. We hugged it out. He used to stick his tongue out and he really did that to me a lot.”
Decker will join Kevin Cron and Yasmany Tomas as first base options for manager Chris Cron.
But in Sunday’s 6-3 loss to Fresno, Decker played left field for the first time since 2017 when he was a member of the Las Vegas 51s.
Locastro, 26, was called up after Dbacks’ catcher Alex Avila was placed on the 10-day injured list with a quad strain. Avila was injured after rounding first and heading toward second base during Arizona’s 5-4 win against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, April 6. It is the third base running injury this season to sideline a Diamondback player. Jake Lamb is on the injured list and Steven Sousa is out for the season.
A former Los Angeles Dodger, Locastro has played in center and left fields and at second base during seven years in the big leagues. Batting leadoff, he went 1-for-12 with the Aces this season.
In other news, the Dbacks traded former New York Yankees top prospect Rob Refsnyder to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash considerations and a player to be named later.
A Korean-American, Refsnyder, 28, signed a minor league deal with Arizona this offseason. He appeared in one game with the Aces this season. Refsnyder, who has primarily played in the outfield throughout his four years, was out of minor league options and did not make it on the Dbacks’ 40-man roster.
Refsnyder had some kind words for up-and-coming Dominican Republic infielder Domingo Leyba before parting to the Blue Chip City.
“I don’t think Domingo needs any advice on making it to the big leagues,” he said. “The kid has been swinging the bat well all spring training, all camp and he plays a bunch of different positions. Domingo’s in a good spot and he’s one of the younger guys on this team with a bunch of talent.”
The Aces (1-4) will have their home opener against the Albuquerque (4-1) at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Greater Nevada Field. A pair of right-handers will take the mound, Taylor Clarke for the Aces and Jeff Hoffman for the Isotopes. Clarke lead Reno in wins last year with 13 and set a franchise record for strikeouts in a season, 125. In the season opener at Fresno, he had a no decision, allowing four hits and two runs in five innings with a walk and two strikeouts.
“(Clarke) has that look about him that says, ‘No one is going to beat me,’ ” said Aces first-year pitching coach Jeff Bajenaru.
Former Bachelorette contestants Diggy Moreland and James Taylor, along with Ryan O’Flanagan (of Remo, Siracha fame) will be greeting fans throughout the game on the concourse, in addition to the first 1,000 fans receiving a 2019 Magnet schedule.
— Isaiah Burrows
Aces head home after 1-4 series at Fresno
The Aces have completed their first road trip of the season and are ready for some home cooking. Reno dropped to 1-4 on the young season with a 7-6 loss to the Fresno Grizzlies Monday Afternoon.
Left-hander Anthony Vasquez was tagged for four runs in five innings of work, but did not get a decision.
Travis Snider continued his blazing-hot start with a 2-for-4 performance, increasing his average to .455 through five games. Reno tied things up in the top of the 9th but saw the tie disappear in the bottom half on a Raudy Read walk-off double.
Fresno got into the scoring column in the bottom of the second inning with a Yadiel Hernandez home run (2) off Vasquez. Reno responded immediately, posting three runs in the top of the third. Kelby Tomlinson got the rally started with a double into left field. Vasquez helped his own cause with an RBI single into right, scoring Tomlinson and tying the ballgame at one. Abraham Almonte followed immediately with a two-run shot, his first of the season, to give Reno a 3-1 advantage. Fresno took a 6-4 advantage through six innings of play, but Reno chipped away to tie things in the top half of the 9th inning. Unfortunately for the Aces, Read sent them packing with a double on a Jimmie Sherfy heater.