This was a welcome return for Alek Thomas.
The Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop spent the past month at Triple-A Reno after a cold start offensively, but his first game Monday began with a deep swing to right.
Thomas capped a six-run first off Milwaukee Brewers ace and 2021 Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes with a 412-foot home run to second base. It was his first swing since he was recalled on Monday.
— MLB (@MLB) June 20, 2023
He did so without much downtime, as the 23-year-old landed in Chicago at 4 a.m. Monday to head to Milwaukee before the game, manager Torey Lovullo told Bally Sports Arizona.
Lovullo addressed Thomas’ opinion last weekend, explaining that the best version of the 2023 Diamondbacks has him patrolling center field.
For the first time since April, Thomas, Corbin Carroll and Jake McCarthy started together, reuniting the No Fly Zone behind starter Merrill Kelly.
“We need him because of what he brings defensively, but he’s also a very good offensive player,” Lovullo told reporters on Friday. “Once he gets there, he’s going to be a really good baseball player for a long time.”
Thomas slashed .195/.252/.327 in 123 plate appearances with Arizona before being optioned on May 17.
He owned a respectable .797 OPS against righties, but was 1-for-36 against left-handed pitchers in that span.
Thomas wasn’t the first or last player Arizona sent to Reno to find answers offensively this year. He did so with McCarthy and most recently Josh Rojas, who was selected after Sunday’s 12-3 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.
Thomas singled in his second game with the club and came around to score to give Arizona a 7-1 lead.
Catch the rest of the game on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and Arizona Sports.com.