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SnakeBytes, 12/27: The Last of 2016

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My final SnakeBytes of the year, anyway - unsurprisingly, it has been a quiet few days for D-backs coverage.

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Team(ish) news

[dbacks.com] Inbox: Could Tomas be on the move? - #SavedYouAClick "I really don't see Tomas' role changing much from last year. Ideally, the D-backs would be able to move him to an American League team, where he could serve as a designated hitter. That would both help the outfield defense as well as give Arizona more payroll flexibility. However, there are a lot of sluggers on the market this offseason, which makes it harder to trade him."

[stltoday.com] Former Cards coach Dave Duncan awaits word on his future in baseball - Duncan on Shelby Miller: "He needs to go back to weapons he can pitch with. He can’t go out there and throw straight fastballs and have an erratic breaking ball and no changeup. You can’t survive that way. I think he lost confidence and got a little skittish trying to throw strikes. He’s got enough arm to be a major-league pitcher. Whether he’d be a top-of-the-rotation guy ... I don’t see him doing that unless he makes some big changes." [H/T Chelsea75's Fanpost]

[dbacks.com] D-backs' Jake Lamb shares Christmas traditions - MLB.com: What's the best Christmas gift you've ever gotten? Lamb: It wasn't life-size, but it was a big Buzz Lightyear action figure. You pressed a button and the wings popped out. It had the laser. I can't remember, I think I was 19 or 20 years old when I got it (laughs). No, I was a kid, and I just remembered that I loved the "Toy Story" movies, and I got Buzz Lightyear and my older brother got Woody. And I just remember being super pumped. That was up there as one of my favorites.

[Gainseville Times] Faith has propelled Gainesville native Micah Owings on arduous path back to MLB - Owings emerged as an electric young player for Arizona, one who could throw a shutout and record four hits at the plate in the same game. Looking back on that explosive year, Owings acknowledged the honor but said he didn’t even know a pitcher was eligible for it. He was too preoccupied with the sights and sounds that came with being a professional baseball player. "I was like a kid in a candy store," Owings said. "I had to pinch myself some mornings, waking up in a king bed in a Ritz-Carlton in different cities. My dreams had become a reality, and I was living it."

[Fangraphs] Andy Green on Managing (Analytically) in San Diego - [Now in SD, Green has stuff to say about AZ] On defensive positioning and shifts: "Ballparks aren’t all the same. The outfield is absolutely huge in Colorado. The infield in Arizona plays very fast. These things matter... When I was doing the infield positioning with the D-backs, Nick Ahmed is a guy covered a lot of ground. Say you have Arenado. You don’t want to stick your shortstop behind Nolan Arenado in the six hole, because then you’re giving up plays you’d otherwise make. Those guys have premium range. It’s about understanding the positioning components of the players, including how good their range is."

And, elsewhere...

[NY Daily News] MLB commish about baseball's future - [Possibly relevant for our ongoing carol] On someday using automated technology rather than an umpire to call balls and strikes: "I think we’re a long way from that, in terms of the technology. I think people are misled by the boxes that are put up on the screen during the broadcasts: they are not an accurate reflection of the strike zone from batter to batter. I think our umpires do a phenomenal job in getting balls and strikes right. Going back to when Sandy Alderson was here — over the last 15 years we have dramatically improved the accuracy and consistency of the strike zone." [Bunch of interesting stuff on pace of play as well]

[BaseballAmerica] Transition Out Of Baseball Not Easy For Most Players - Talented enough to play his way to the United States after signing with the Giants in 2006, lefthander Mario Rodriguez lasted just five seasons before he was released in 2012. At 23, he needed a new career. "For me, it was easier once I got released... When I played the game, I was one of 3-4 players (who) finished high school on the whole team—that tells you a lot. It’s a big problem. I would say some of the players, once their career is almost over, there’s not too many options. Some guys who make it to the States, it’s not about ‘What do I do next?’ It’s more about ‘How do I survive?’"

[New York Post] Yankees, Red Sox could be guinea pigs for London baseball - The Yankees and Red Sox could be taking their rivalry overseas. Major League Baseball is considering playing some games in London as soon as 2018, and the Yankees and Red Sox could be the first to go, according to sources. The Yankees and Red Sox are logical choices not just because of their popularity outside the US, but because both organizations have ties to English Premier League soccer teams. Boston owner John Henry owns Liverpool and the Yankees are co-owners with Manchester City of the MLS franchise New York City FC.