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Snake Bytes, 2/23: Pitchers who rake edition

The arrival of Zack Greinke might help the D-backs in more than their pitching...

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

[FOX Sports] Manager Chip Hale might bat Diamondbacks pitchers 8th this year - "I'd like to hit all our pitchers eighth if we could," Hale said Monday at Salt River Fields, "if they show they can handle the bat and do some different things with the bat." The primary benefit of doing so, in theory, is to get more players on base ahead of All-Stars A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt, who likely will hit second and third in the order. "If we do it, we may do it; go for it," Hale said. "Greinke really is a quality Major League hitter. I'm very comfortable hitting him eighth and I told the other guys, 'Show me I can do it to you.'"

[AZ Central] Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller are Diamondbacks' tag-team duo - "I’m a little bit goofier and probably a lot more talkative than he is," says Miller. "I’m probably a little more outspoken. He’s a quiet and independent guy and that’s what makes him who he is. Me, I’ll joke around every once in a while." Apparently, so will the normally stoic and reserved Greinke. "Yeah, he already joked that I can’t hit," Miller said, laughing. "I think I can hit. But I can’t hit as good as he can. He’s got some pretty good numbers at the plate. I’m a 5 o’clock hitter – you should see me during BP."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs pitcher Daniel Hudson is ‘happy’ in the bullpen - Then the D-backs added Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, two top of the rotation pitchers; and the D-backs’ plans for Hudson changed.... "They kind of said, ‘Hey, we might not need you as bad as we thought. We like you back there in the eighth inning,’ and I enjoy doing it as well, or the backend of the bullpen. It was just one of the things where we kind of decided to, let’s save some bullets here in spring training and maybe every once in awhile get a two, two-plus inning outing in and just kind of save some bullets and try to mentally prepare for pitching in the backend of the bullpen."

[AZ Central] Hudson content with bullpen role - "No, it didn’t bother me," Hudson said. "They got to do what they’ve got to do for the team. I’ve said all along I’m happy doing whatever makes this team better. "I’ve never been shy about wanting to get another shot at it, but if there’s no spot, then there’s no spot. I’m not bitter or mad or upset about it at all. It’s just the way the numbers worked out and if that’s the way the team is better, then that’s where I’ll pitch is late in the game."

[AP] Corbin looks ahead to full season in Diamondbacks' rotation - ''Missing so much time you realize how much you love to play the game and you do question yourself, can you get back to where you were before,'' Corbin said. ''It just proved to myself that I can go out there and pitch again. The elbow feels great and it feels good to be able to come here 100 percent and ready to go.... 'If I'm healthy I should be able to make every start and throw deeper into ballgames, which is something I really want to do this year."

[AZ Central] Ray welcomes competition for 5th spot - "I wasn’t coming into this spring training," Ray said, "thinking I was going to show up and it was going to be handed to me." But when told Hale pegged him as the leading candidate for the fifth spot, he acknowledged he felt he deserved at least that much. "I made 23 starts, I was pretty consistent the whole year, I felt like I showed I belonged," Ray said. "I felt like last year I did do enough to earn it." Ray says he’s been working on putting hitters away earlier in counts, and he hopes an improved change-up creates more separation from his fastball and gives hitters something else to think about.


[Arizona Sports] Jake Lamb looks at 2015 season as a learning experience - Lamb said he felt great all throughout his rehab and then in the minor league games he played in before getting back to the majors, which led to his expectations being a bit too high for how he’d play when he rejoined the D-backs. "And I didn’t do it," he said. "I started hearing people talk about it and people were asking me about it and I let that get to me a little bit, which I’ve never done in my career. I’m usually good at blocking that type of stuff out, but it kind of got to me a little bit."

[FOX Sports] Castillo, Goseiwsch work behind the scene during spring training - "For catchers, it's a little difficult to hit before the games start because we always have something to do," Castillo said. "My hitting will come in time. With playing time, the more I see pitchers my timing will come. Hitting for a catcher is just a plus. All that I care about is (the pitchers), because if we're not on the same page or don't trust each other then we're in trouble because we're the ones driving the bus in the game."

[Minor League Ball] Breakout Candidates for 2016: Arizona Diamondbacks - I expect to feel much more confident about what middle infielder Chris Owings is (or isn't) a year from now. The lack of plate discipline was always a concern, but last season was ridiculous. There is some reason to hope that a completely healthy Owings can deliver on the promise of his minor league career where he showed slightly better control of the strike zone, a bit more power, and a better defensive profile. It will be interesting to monitor his competition with Jean Segura and Nick Ahmed up the middle.

[C70 at the Bat] Playing Pepper 2016: Arizona Diamondbacks - Myself and Jeff Wiser from Inside the Zona took on some questions about the team's off-season moves, and what to expect this summer.

And, elsewhere...

[FOX Sports] How A.J. Hinch went from bust to among the best as a manager - How did it work out for the industry, which reacted to the DBacks’ hiring of Hinch with almost universal disgust? I was one of many in the media who was critical of the move and Byrnes’ framing of it. But the rationales that made Hinch’s hiring so controversial are now almost standard, barely drawing notice today. Including Hinch, 12 of the 30 current managers – 40 percent – landed their jobs without previous managing experience in professional baseball. Only five of those had even coached in the majors.

[Beyond the Box Score] A guide to the projection systems - It's that time of year again! No, not spring training; projection season. Here's a guide to the various flavors, and what makes them all special. Warning: contains math. But it may help you to study up on these now, since some of these will crop up in our previews, which begin later today! [H/T Makakilo]