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D-backs promote top prospect Jordan Lawlar for stretch run, DFA veteran Nick Ahmed

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Scott McGough, right, celebrates the final out against the Colorado Rockies with Diamondbacks catcher Jose Herrera in the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 12-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted top prospect Jordan Lawlar to the big leagues Wednesday as they fight for a playoff spot.

The 21-year-old Lawlar was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 draft. The shortstop — who is the No. 7 prospect in the sport, according to MLB.com — was recently promoted to Triple-A Reno and has been hitting extremely well, batting .359 with five homers and 19 RBIs.

“He's going to play,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don't know what the menu is. We've had so many moving parts to what's been happening over the last 12 hours, that I haven't had a chance to sit down and think about how I'm going to inject him into this lineup.”

To make room on the roster, the D-backs designated two-time Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed for assignment.

Lawlar is joining the team as it reaches a crucial stretch. The D-backs are about to embark on an eight-game trip that includes four games against the Chicago Cubs, who are also chasing a wild-card spot.

“I just think he needs to come up here and be himself,” D-backs rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll said. “I think he has a lot of resources here, a lot of veteran guys, and some young guys as well, who can share experiences with him.”

The Diamondbacks are among several teams fighting for one of the three wild-card positions in the National League. They beat the Rockies 12-5 on Wednesday, improving to 72-68.

The Arizona Republic first reported that Lawlar was being promoted.

Ahmed has been with the team since 2014 and won Gold Gloves in 2018 and 2019. But the 33-year-old was hurt most of last year and is hitting just .212 in a part-time role this season.

Lovullo said it was difficult to break the news to Ahmed, but the shortstop handled the news like “a total pro.”

“He's just a good human being who was engaged every single day when he came to the ballpark to do everything he possibly could to help this team win a baseball game,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

The D-backs were busy Wednesday, also claiming catcher Seby Zavala on waivers from the Chicago White Sox and promoting right-hander pitcher Ryne Nelson from Triple-A. Nelson will start against the Cubs on Thursday.

Catcher Jose Herrera and right-handed pitcher Bryce Jarvis were sent to Triple-A.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb