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Diamondbacks promote Anthony Banda to majors

The Dbacks top prospect will make his MLB debut Saturday against the Nationals.

MLB: All Star Game-All Star Futures Game Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks have promoted pitcher Anthony Banda from AAA Reno to start Saturday's game against the Nationals, the club announced Friday afternoon. The left-hander is Arizona's top prospect and ranks 68th overall according to Baseball America's midseason update.

With starter Taijuan Walker on paternity leave, Banda's big league stint will be rather brief. Yet with a strong outing Saturday, Banda could earn himself an extended look in the majors down the stretch, either in the rotation or the bullpen. However, the Diamondbacks already have three lefties in the 'pen, and are known to be searching for right-handed relief help depth.

Banda, 23, has spent all of 2017 at AAA, where he's struggled to a 5.08 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 101 innings. While Banda's K/BB ration hasn't change too drastically, He's seen his groundball rates decrease, and correspondingly his home run rates have risen.

The former tenth-round pick of the Brewers in 2012, Banda was acquired by Arizona along with Mitch Haniger in a 2014 deadline deal for Gerardo Parra. The Corpus Christi native was selected to the All-Star Futures Game at Petco Park in 2016.