"I think the fastball hasn't been quite the velocity that we thought, but 92 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you can make it move and control it, spot it. The electricity has been in the breaking ball, especially, and the change-up. But I think we do expect a little tick up in the velocity eventually."
-Chip Hale on Yoan Lopez
Archie Bradley fires five effective innings, striking out two batters and allowing one earned run on six hits against the Angels.
Lopez has shown flashes of why the Diamondbacks paid more than $16 million for him in January, but he has also looked somewhat ordinary at times in the eyes of rival scouts. Still, the Diamondbacks say they are encouraged by what they've seen and believe Lopez has all the ingredients to become a successful big league pitcher.
Where will Yasmany Tomas open the season -- third base, left field or the minor leagues? Will Daniel Hudson fit best in the rotation or the bullpen? Once those questions are answered, everything else falls into place. Manager Chip Hale said he hopes to clear it up by late next week. The D-backs will conduct another round of cuts Sunday and again next weekend, likely April 3.
With the Cactus League winding down to the last week-and-a-half, the Arizona Diamondbacks roster is starting to take shape. Lately, the D-backs have been focusing on the bullpen. Injuries plagued the Arizona bullpen early in Spring, but as spring moves along, healthy relievers are making their way back to full-time duties. On top of that, the D-backs are narrowing down the candidates for the starting catcher position.
Left-hander Robbie Ray has been so focused this month on improving one of his weaknesses, he has struggled to maintain one of his strengths. Throughout his career, Ray has been known to have a good change-up but a spotty breaking ball. He's worked to improve the breaking ball — and scouts have been impressed with the quality of his slider — but in the process he's lost the feel for his change-up.
One is an MVP candidate. Another can hit the ball 500 feet—regularly. The other might be the National League Rookie of the Year. Paul Goldschmidt. Mark Trumbo. Yasmany Tomas.