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Game #88 Preview: 7/17, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants

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Well, that was the longest four days ever, wasn't it?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cain
RHP, 1-1, 4.09
Robbie Ray
LHP, 3-4, 2.16
Angel Pagan - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
Joe Panik - 2B David Peralta - LF
Matt Duffy - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Buster Posey - C Yasmany Tomas - RF
Hunter Pence - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Brandon Crawford - SS Welington Castillo - C
Brandon Belt - 1B Chris Owings - 2B
Justin Maxwell - LF Nick Ahmed - SS
Matt Cain - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

After what seems like an age, the Diamondbacks rushed back into action today, dropping a couple of truth bombs on the landscape this afternoon, first with the signing of #1 pick Dansby Swanson, and then the return of Ender Inciarte. Not that either will, at least initially, have any impact as play gets under way for the second-half this evening at Chase, and we welcome the Giants to kick things off. Interesting, given that we could have picked any one of our starters for the role, that Ray has been tagged as the Opening Day starter for the second-half of the season.

Right now, I think he and Patrick Corbin are the only two guaranteed spots in the 2016 rotation, with the others being more or less "to be determined". Whether the remaining three spots go to players currently in those spots, internal candidates such as Aaron Blair or Archie Bradley, or someone currently pitching for another team, is something we'll probably not know until this winter. It will be up to Rubby De La Rosa, Chase Anderson, etc. to justify their position on the roster, with strong second-half performances, and that may be the most important thing to look for in the team's performances the rest of the way.

Another key question will be the second-base dilemma, where neither Aaron Hill nor Chris Owings did much to inspire confidence during the first half. If that continues, it's not impossible we could see a Brandon Drury promotion before the end of the year. The catcher's spot will also be under the microscope. Castillo made a good impression after arriving from Seattle, and will hopefully cement his position as an everyday starter; but can we keep Oscar Hernandez on the roster for the remaining 75 games, and retain his services? All this, and not even a whisper of contention: it promises to be an interesting second-half regardless!