The Arizona Diamondbacks have demoted Kam Mickolio to the minor leagues and recalled Esmerling Vazquez from Triple-A Reno, a move that comes one day after Mickolio almost blew a four-run lead in .2 innings of work.
Mickolio beat Vazquez out for the last roster spot during spring training.
Mickolio, 26, has pitched sporadically for the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks over the last four years. He came to the Diamondbacks in last off-season's Mark Reynolds trade. Reynolds still us the same low-average, high-strikeout, modest-power, free-swinger he's always been, hitting .241/.333/.448 (average/on-base percentage/slugging) to start the year, but it hurts to see his replacement go down to the minors so early. Seems like a waste, doesn't it?
According to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Mickolio posted a 9.00 ERA with a walk and six strikeouts in four games with the D-backs. He was charged with three runs on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts over 0.2 innings in his most recent appearance on April 12 vs. Cardinals. Over parts of four seasons with the Orioles and D-backs, he is 0-3 with a 5.10 ERA, with 15 walks and 32 strikeouts in 27 games.
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Mickolio has good stuff. He struck out Albert Pujols looking and got Matt Holliday swinging on a curveball in the sixth. But he's almost seven feet tall and has mechanical issues as a result of his height. He's young enough that he might be able to find a consistent motion sometime. He wouldn't be the first big man to find himself after an erratic start to a career. It is unlikely that Mickolio will become the second coming of the Big Unit, but he's definitely got the talent to become a better pitcher.