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D-backs Make Former Bears First Baseman Wheeler a Big Leaguer

July 20, 2012 - Northwest League (NWL) - Yakima Bears News Release

PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today they have released infielder Geoff Blum and selected infielder Ryan Wheeler from Triple-A Reno, according to D-backs' Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.

Blum, 39, hit .143 (4-for-28) in 17 games for the D-backs this season. He was sidelined from April 18 (retroactive to April 17)-July 1 with a strained left oblique. In 12 rehab games for Triple-A Reno, he hit .237 (9-for-38) with 3 doubles, a homer and 8 RBI. Over parts of 2 seasons with the D-backs, he hit .195 (15-for-77) with 3 doubles, 2 homers and 11 RBI in 40 games.

Wheeler, 24, was a Pacific Coast League Mid-Season All-Star and at the time of his promotion, led the Minors with 90 RBI while ranking fifth with 127 hits, tied for fifth with 207 total bases and tied for ninth with a .351 batting average.

Wheeler hit .351 (127-for-362) with 27 doubles, 4 triples, 15 homers and 90 RBI in 93 games for the Aces along with a .388 on-base percentage and .572 slugging percentage. He appeared in 49 games at third base, 32 games at first base, 10 games in left field and 4 games as the designated hitter.

Wheeler was named the D-backs co-Player of the Month for June and the June Topps Player of the Month for the Pacific Coast League after hitting .442 (50-for-113) with 9 doubles, 5 home runs, 28 RBI and 20 multi-hit games in 26 games in June for the Aces. He set an Aces franchise record for June with 50 hits, 6 more hits than any other Minor League batter, to become the 11th Minor Leaguer since 2005 to collect 50 hits in a month. Wheeler began the month with a 13-game hit streak from June 1-14, hitting .525 (32-for-61) with 12 multi-hit games. His 28 RBI in June tied for second-most among Triple-A hitters and tied for fifth-most in the Minor Leagues.

Wheeler also earned PCL Player of the Week honors for April 23-29. A native of Torrence, Calif., he was drafted by the D-backs in the fifth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft from Loyola Marymount University.

Wheeler will wear No. 21.

The D-backs 40-man roster is at 39.

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