SnakeBytes, 4/8: Off to SF edition

Mike Zarrilli

The first off-day of the regular season yesterday, with the team in San Francisco, getting ready for a three-game series against the Giants, which starts at AT&T Park tonight. So a little light on team news, but some interesting nuggets elsewhere. Seven-inning games anyone?

Team news

[dbacks.com] Trumbo living up to billing in Arizona - "I don't care if some people don't feel [driving in runs] is important, but I feel there's something to be said for getting a guy home in a pressure situation and the pitcher is bearing down on you, trying to get you out," he said. "I'll take the RBI." Not that Trumbo is satisfied with his offensive game. The 471 strikeouts in 469 big league games -- 184 of them last year -- aren't acceptable. "It's too many," he said. "I know that. I want to be a better all-around hitter. I need to be more patient. There's time to shorten up [the swing] a little with two strikes, but not too much. I know what my job is."

[ArizonaSports] Diamondbacks are struggling in the leadoff spot - The Arizona Diamondbacks could use more from their leadoff men. Much, much more. Through nine games this season in the one-hole, Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock have combined to hit a woeful .158 with an on-base percentage of just .195. Following pitcher Wade Miley's three-hit effort in Sunday's win over Colorado, the leadoff spot is now carrying the lowest batting average on the team, behind the nine-hole's .182 average and .229 OBP.

[AZCentral] With no 'ace,' Diamondbacks starters must step up - Arroyo said when a team is on a losing streak, just knowing it has a front-line starter waiting to take the ball can have a calming effect on everyone else. He said it can lead to pitchers putting extra pressure on themselves to not be the one who blows it. "Especially when you're sliding downhill, everybody starts feeling like we don't have the ability to pull us out of this rut," Arroyo said. "Sometimes having those stoppers is very important for that." Overcoming that is a matter of getting positive contributions throughout the roster, Arroyo said.

[dbacks.com] Arizona Diamondbacks Inbox - "I would imagine the team will give Delgado another couple of starts before deciding to make a change. If he does not improve his breaking ball, it is certainly possible at some point that the D-backs will try him in the bullpen, because a pitcher can get away with having only two pitches -- in his case, a fastball and an excellent changeup -- easier than a starting pitcher can. As for who might be candidates for an eventual callup, Towers told us the other day that Bradley, Bo Schultz and Mike Bolsinger would be up for consideration. Charles Brewer is another guy to keep an eye on if he has a good start to the season."

And, elsewhere...

[ESPN] Team executive says MLB games should be seven innings long - "A high-ranking executive melded all of the lingering issues of the era into one conversation, as if listing a recipe for change. The games are often played too slowly, he noted. The audience of Major League Baseball is aging, with polls indicating that the youngest generation expects faster and fastest in what it consumes. At the same time, the exec said, teams are struggling to find enough good pitching -- and, at the same time, the number of injuries is skyrocketing."

[WashingtonPost] The challenge of baseball’s instant replay system - MLB implemented replay in order to overturn bad calls. Managers, incentivized to leverage their challenges, are not trying simply to fix egregious judgments. They’re hunting for edges, challenging the close play in a key spot. On opening day, Williams used a challenge in the 10th inning on a close play that had little-to-no chance of being overturned. It was the smart play – the challenge otherwise would have gone to waste. But those extra minutes added to the game is not what baseball had in mind. In the hands of managers, the system isn’t a system. It’s a game. Is that what the league wants?

[Huffington Post] Unofficial Cubs Mascot Punches Man At Wrigleyville Bar - Only in Chicago. "Even the friendliest of furry mascots have a breaking point. A man dressed as the unsanctioned Chicago Cubs mascot "Billy Cub" apparently reached his breaking point this weekend in a now-viral video that shows him throwing a vicious-looking punch at a bar patron who removed the costume's head. "

[CBS New York] Significant Risks Of Headfirst Slides Outweigh Questionable Rewards "Anything from a concussion to a cervical strain or even spinal-cord injury might result, particularly when there is contact with a player blocking the path. In addition, the propensity for upper-extremity injury is heightened, not only because of the mechanics involved and collisions that are likely, but also because these joints are more vulnerable than the sturdier joints of the lower body — which have a greater preponderance of injury with feet-first slides. Even the abdominal muscles are at greater risk for strains with headfirst slides due to the outstretched position of the body."

[NESN.com] Ryan Roberts: Journey To Boston Red Sox Like ‘Bud Light Commercial’ - "If I had to relate it best, I’d say like the Bud Light commercial where they pick the guy up and they take him on a wild, crazy night and journey," Roberts said Monday at Fenway Park. "That’s kind of been like my deal here. It’s been a crazy journey. It’s been an experience that I’ve never dealt with before. (I’ve had) long days. The days sometimes go by really fast. My days went by really slow. But it’s been a nice ride and learning experience."

Heath Bell hits Omar Infante in the jaw with a fastball.- Former Diamondback Bell still seems to have some control issues. That's the kindest way of explaining this pitch, because the alternative - that he was head-hunting - is not a nice thought.

40 years ago today. Hank Aaron passed Babe Ruth for #1 on the all-time home-run list. In the minds of many, he's still the legitimate home-run king. Here's #716.

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