The major league baseball career of Diamondbacks’ infielder Eric Chavez appears over.
On the disabled list since June 8 with sprained left knee, Chavez’s rehabilitation has been halted and manager Kirk Gibson acknowledged before Sunday’s game with the Chicago Cubs at home that the veteran has been shut down indefinitely.
In addition, Gibson told reporters that the D-backs medical staff is essentially in a holding pattern with Chavez. There is no hurry to get Chavez back any time soon, and, at this point, is appears Chavez has played his last game for Arizona.
Since the team returned from the All-Star break, Chavez, at 36-years-old, has not been in the clubhouse and Gibson indicated he is at home recovering in Scottsdale.
“(Chavez) is not getting any better,” Gibson said. “Right now, he is a shut down mode and we’re not aggressive in getting him any better.”
When he went down, Chavez was hitting .246 (17-for-69), three doubles, one triple, three home runs and eight RBIs. After a .281 season a year ago, including a productive 44 RBIs with 64 hits, the Diamondbacks wanted Chavez back. That was because the club desired his left-handed bat off the bench and to relieve Martin Prado, the everyday third baseman.
Despite spending two different periods on the disabled list last season, the Diamondbacks felt Chavez was healthy enough and made a roster spot available.
Now, the recurring knee injury has compromised Chavez’s production and value. While the Diamondbacks are prepared to go with Prado at third, Gibson has possible back-ups in Nick Evans, Didi Gregorius and Cliff Pennington.
At this point, it appears Chavez finished a strong major league career with Oakland, the Yankees and the Diamondbacks with 258 home runs and 902 RBIs and in a career which began in Oakland during the 1998 season.
With a plethora of injuries and introduction of several players recalled from the minor league, the Diamondbacks could be in a position to see more new faces before the curtain closes on this season.
While manager Kirk Gibson did not name names, he indicated that circumstances would dictate player movement to the major league level.
So far this season, the Diamondbacks have elevated pitchers Matt Stites, Evan Marshall and Eury De La Rosa from the minors as well as position players Nick Ahmed, Nick Evans, Ender Inciarte and David Peralta
“With the injures, we have taken a look at several guys,” Gibson said before Sunday’s home game with the Cubs. “There could be more guys here, you don’t know. We’ve had a great year throughout the minor league system. Teams are strong and there’s great continuity among the teams.”
Regarding personnel, Gibson pointed out that the strength of the organization is “depth.” At this point, Gibson added, there is no immediate prospect who will get a look at the major league level but said the organization is solid and those who appear in Sedona Red will be here on a need basis.
INTER-LEAGUE PLAY NEXT
The second of three American League Central Division teams moves into Chase Field this week.
Beginning Monday night, the Detroit Tigers make a rare appearance and the Kansas City Royals follow next month.
For the Tigers series, the D-backs will open the series with left-hander Vidal Nuno (0-1, 3.00 ERA) taking on Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.88). On Tuesday night, it’s right-hander Chase Anderson (6-4, 3.64) opposing right-hander Rick Porcello (12-3, 3.39) and for Wednesday matinee at 12:40 p.m., look for righty Trevor Cahill (1-6, 5.63) taking the hill against right-hander Anibal Sanchez (6-4, 3.22).
Then, it’s on the road for a six game trip with three at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies and three in Cincinnati. The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field August 1 for a 10-game home stand against the Pirates, Royals and Rockies.