Cherokee’s Koch To Get MLB Start Friday

It may not be a forever solution, but Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Matt Koch is getting the first crack at filling the rotation spot left by fellow righty Taijuan Walker, who was diagnosed with a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament on Wednesday and will need Tommy John surgery.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo announced on Wednesday that Koch would be recalled from Triple-A Reno to start on Friday against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field.

Koch, who impressed in spring training, has made one appearance this season and pitched two scoreless innings on April 7 in St. Louis. The 27-year-old faced six batters and struck out three of them. He did not allow a baserunner.

The Diamondbacks are hoping Koch seizes his latest opportunity.

“He threw the ball really well in spring training,” Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen said. “I think last year was pretty abnormal given what he’s done in his career. He threw the ball great in spring training. He’s healthy, stronger than he was last year. His velocity was up.

Koch is a graduate of Cherokee high school.

(story courtesy of AZcentral)