As a July 4th present, the Arizona Diamondbacks designated outfielder Jeff Salazar for assignment, giving the team 10 days to either outright, trade, or release him. Salazar had hit just .202 in 99 at bats with the D-backs this season. Additionally, they sent Connor Robertson back to Triple-A after he allowed just one run over four relief innings at the major league level.
In their stead, the Diamondbacks recalled outfielder Alexander Romero and utility
player Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A Tucson. The 23-year old Romero went 8-for-35 with the D-backs
earlier this season. Bonifacio was a September callup in 2007, but made his 2008 debut with the
parent club on Independence Day as a pinch runner, striking out later in the
Bonifacio had hit .302 with a homer and 10 RBI for the Tucson Sidewinders. He was second in the Pacific Coast League with 110 hits to teammate Jaime D'Antona. Both of those prospects were chosen to represent the Sidewinders in the PCL All-Star game. Bonifacio will not participate in that contest if he sticks with the big league club.
Bonifacio adds an element of speed to the D-backs with his 17 stolen bases this season in Triple-A.
That is far off the pace of 41 bases that he grabbed last season, but the
Diamondbacks as a whole have not been swiping bags the way they did in 2007.
The team had only stolen 26 bases in 41 attempts before Bonifacio successfully
swiped third base in his 2008 debut on the Fourth of July. That 2007 team
had two players (Eric Byrnes and Chris Young) with more than 24 swipes
Used primarily as a second baseman in 85 Triple-A games, Bonifacio will play there, in the outfield (where he played in winter ball), and perhaps shortstop. This gives the Diamondbacks some added depth to a roster decimated by injury.
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