D-Backs Ink Grace, Mella, Cabrera, Assigned to Reno
By Reno Aces / Reno Aces | November 18, 2019 2:11 PM
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed RHP Mauricio Cabrera, RHP Keury Mella, and LHP Matt Grace to minor-league contracts and have assigned them to Triple-A Reno with an invite Major League Spring Training. Here's what you need to know about the new additions.
LHP Matt Grace 6'4/215
Grace was drafted in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB draft out of UCLA. The southpaw was college teammates with San Francisco Giants All-Star infielder Brandon Crawford and former Reno Ace Cody Decker during his time as a Bruin. The 6-foot-4 reliever made his Major League debut for the Washington Nationals in April of 2015. Since then, he's put together a very respectable baseball career appearing in 178 career games, mostly out the bullpen, for the Nats. Grace owns a 5-4 record with a 4.29 ERA to go with 132 strikeouts over 176.1 innings pitched. His best season came in 2018 when he held a 2.87 ERA and 1.14 WHIP for Washington in 56 games pitched. You'll see a low 90s fastball paired with a sharp slider from the lefty.
Grace did struggle in 2019 however and was designated for assignment on August 30 then elected free agency. A change of scenery could do Grace well as it has done with a lot of veteran ballplayers, he brings experience and a winning track record to Reno.
RHP Keury Mella 6'2/200
Mella has had a cup of coffee in the big leagues with the Reds appearing in eight games and was once a big prospect. He was traded to Cincinnati in 2017 along with first baseman Adam Duvall from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for RHP Mike Leake. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 and since then has posted a 48-50 record with a 3.70 ERA in 163 games pitched and 160 starts in the Minors. Mella was 8-14 with a 5.05 ERA for Triple-A Louisville in 2019. If Mella can make some good adjustments in Spring Training, you could see him start some games in Reno next season.
RHP Mauricio Cabrera 6'3/240
With Cabrera, you will see a BIG fastball. Watch the video below to see for yourself. Once a highly touted Atlanta Braves prospect from the Dominican Republic, the righty made his Major League debut in 2016 and posted a 5-1 record over 38.1 IP out of the bullpen to go with a 2.82 ERA, six saves, 32 strikeouts and a .225 average against. The success did not follow Cabrera the following season struggling with injuries and command issues. He was designated for assignment in February 2018 and picked up by the Chicago White Sox.
At 26-years-old, the talent and potential are still evident. In 2019, he posted a 4-3 record over 48 IP with 67 strikeouts in 42 games pitched for Double-A Birmingham. If he can cut down on the walks, he could be a very fun pitcher to watch this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.