Melvin Mora, 39, was brought in to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the offseason as part of the move to add veteran presence in the club house and lineup. Mora was slated to share time with Geoff Blum at third base but when Ryan Roberts hit the cover off the ball during Spring Training and Blum went down with a knee injury, the plans changed.
Mora's started 30 games at third with Roberts getting 50 starts. It's a trend away from Mora that's been even more pronounced in recent weeks with Melvin only getting nine games in the month of June. The reason is pretty obvious. Mora is hitting just .230 this season and only .120 in the last month.
Manager Kirk Gibson announced during his postgame press conference that the Diamondbacks were releasing Mora effective Thursday, June 30. Gibson wouldn't say what the corresponding roster move would be, but it's likely that Geoff Blum, himself 37, will be brought off the disabled list and given a chance to share time with Roberts.
It's possible that utility infielder Tony Abreu could get the call and a much, much longer shot that Bobby Borchering would get the bump. Abreu is at Triple-A Reno hitting well (.820 OPS) and Bochering is at A+ Visalia where his OPS is .813. Abreu is more of a middle infielder than a corner guy and Bochering, 20, is likely too young and not ready. Cody Ranson, the 35 year old journeyman third baseman in Reno is an option as well. He's a hitting .321 and slugging .632.
Blum is still the most likely choice. Here's the most recent update on his status:
Diamondbacks | Geoff Blum plays in rehab game - MLB Hot off the Wire
Geoff Blum (knee) played five innings in a rehab game Monday, June 27, and did not feel any ill effects from his knee. He is scheduled to play two more rookie games Wednesday, June 29, and Saturday, July 2, before joining Triple-A Reno to continue his rehab assignment. He does not have a timetable for his return but said he is making steady progress in his rehab.
Melvin Mora's had a great career which very well could have ended Wednesday with a pinch-hit strikeout. He was an All-Star in 2003 and 2005 and the AL Silver Slugger in 2004. Mora spent the bulk of his career with the Baltimore Orioles (2000-09).