Randy Choate knew he was good enough to make it back to
the majors, but with each passing relief appearance at Triple-A Tucson and each
promotion that came and went to others in the organization, he couldn't help but
"Yeah, it was discouraging at times," he said. "Because
I felt I was pitching good enough to be here but I wasn't getting the call.
Other guys were pitching well, too, and they got the call before me, so
sometimes, it's discouraging when you feel you're doing everything you can and
you're doing everything they've asked, and you don't get it."
But the good news finally came on Tuesday. After
struggling pitcher Russ Oritz was designated for assignment, the Diamondbacks
purchased Choate's contract from the Sidewinders and brought the left-handed
reliever up to the majors for the first time since he pitched for the
Diamondbacks on April 29, 2005.
He is the lone lefty on the staff -- at least until
veteran Terry Mulholland returns from the disabled list -- and will be used as
Arizona's specialist against opposing left-handed hitters in key situations.
On Wednesday against the Giants, he was brought in
during the seventh inning to face left-handed hitter Mark Sweeney and struck him
Choate was 3-0 with five saves and a 2.45 ERA in 32
appearances with Tucson.
"You appreciate it a lot more when you're gone for so
long," said Choate, 30. "I was telling somebody it felt like getting called up
for the first time. It was just weird. I don't know if it's because I just
wanted it so bad and having been down there for over a year and then being able
to work my way back, but honestly, it felt like the first time."
Choate, who is 5-6 with a 4.71 ERA in 164 career games
in the majors, was frustrated at losing a spot on the 25-man roster to
Mulholland out of spring training. But a talk with first-year general manager
Josh Byrnes helped him to refocus and stay prepared while at Triple-A Tucson.
"He just said, 'Be patient. You're definitely in our
plans. We'd like to have you up there. But there are certain things keeping you
out right now,'" Choate said. "All I can say is it's nice to be back."
REPLAY: Third baseman Chad Tracy was charged with three
errors that led to three unearned runs and a 11-4 loss to the Giants on
Wednesday at Chase Field. Tracy had committed just six errors all season
entering the game.
"They were three tough plays, but they were plays that I
should make," said Tracy, who doubled twice in the game and is batting .378
(14-for-37) with two home runs, four doubles and eight RBIs against the Giants
Arizona fell to 1-8 with one game remaining on a 10-game
--RHP Kevin Jarvis will make a spot start on Saturday at
Texas, the place in the rotation that previously belonged to RHP Russ Ortiz, who
was designated for assignment by the club on Tuesday. After Saturday's start,
Jarvis will return to his relief role, and the club should have RHP Juan Cruz
(sore shoulder) back from the disabled list to start June 22 against Tampa Bay.
--SS Craig Counsell appeared in his 1,000th career game
Wednesday against visiting San Francisco.
"He's just a guy that believes in his ability and
nothing's going to beat him down, and I can honestly say I'm proud to be
associated with him," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said.
--RHP Juan Cruz is expected to throw a bullpen session
Thursday (around 45 pitches). If all goes well, he is expected to make a minor
league rehab start Saturday and rejoin the Diamondbacks immediately thereafter.
Cruz has been bothered by a sore right shoulder, but he hasn't had any pain or
problems for the past several days.
--3B Chad Tracy batted third and LF Luis Gonzalez fourth
on Wednesday for the second consecutive game after manager Bob Melvin had
flip-flopped them in the order for three consecutive games against the Mets.
"We switched it around and tweaked it, but decided to
put things back to where it's been because we've been successful this year,"
--RHP Jorge Julio, who remains Arizona's closer, has
allowed one run and just three hits in his first nine appearances since being
acquired in a trade from the Mets. He's retired 27 of the 32 batters he's faced.