The unstoppable force that is the Arizona Diamondbacks in spring training rolls on. Albeit, an unstoppable force that has been unstoppable against the local college side and a team picked by some to finish last in our division. In meaningless spring action. Where the players you know about had mostly departed by the end of the fifth inning.
Our 2-0 Cactus League record is still real to me, dammit!
Let's see if we can keep things rolling, as we welcome the Oakland Athletics to Salt River Fields, and in particular, get our first chance to look at Robbie Ray, another of the starting prospects received this winter. He seems a bit less heralded than Rubby de la Rosa or Allen Webster, and many seem to think he has a lower chance of making it into the Opening Day rotation this season. However, he definitely gets a leg-up from being a left-hander, something we are severely lacking in our rotational options. Until Patrick Corbin gets back, Vidal Nuno and Andrew Chafin are the only other left-handed starting pitchers on the 40-man roster.
Does that matter? Probably not: it's hardly rare. Last season, five teams started the season with an all right-handed rotation: the Cardinals, Twins, Brewers, Marlins and Indians. The theory is that if you throw nothing but righties at a team over the course of a series, they will get "comfortable" in the box, but the overall difference in numbers between left-handed and right-handed pitchers isn't as much as you'd think. Picking the best pitchers for the rotation is probably more relevant than worrying about handedness, which is likely of use only as a tie-breaker, if you can't separate two choices by any other means.
Here's today's Diamondbacks line-up:
- A.J. Pollock, CF
- Ender Inciarte, RF
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- David Peralta, RF
- Yasmany Tomas, DH
- Jake Lamb, 3B
- Cliff Pennington, SS
- Oscar Hernandez. C
- Nick Ahmed, 2B
+ P Robbie Ray, Randall Delgado, Allen Webster, Will Locante, Jake Barrett, Enrique Burgos