|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Jean Segura - 2B|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Chris Herrmann - RF|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Brian McCann - C||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Starlin Castro - 2B||Welington Castillo - C|
|Chase Headley - 3B||Yasmany Tomas - LF|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Chris Owings - CF|
|Aaron Hicks - RF||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Michael Pineda - RHP||Zack Greinke - RHP|
The team announced today that staff ace Rubby De La Rosa [no... Still looks strange, no matter how many times I write it!] will skip his next start. Nothing major, just some minor nagging stuff that could do with a break, and the upcoming plethora of off-days [Thursday and Monday] make it easy. This will also help keep the rest of the rotation on something close to their regular schedules; for example, Zack Greinke would otherwise not pitch from tonight all the way through until next Tuesday. Of course, while Rubby has been our best pitcher so far, we want to see him as often as possible, better a rest now than a possible DL stint down the road.
According to Nick P, the team also thought about using the off-days to return to a normal 7-man relief corps, and give them an extra bench bat instead, "but didn't want to mess with the current bullpen composition." The team is still first in the National League for relief innings, at 579.1, which is 10.2 frames more than the next-placed Rockies. The league average is 513 innings, so the importance of that extra arm is certainly clear. Though it probably helps, both in bullpen usage and the need for a deep bench, that the team has only had one extra-inning game since April 24,. after a nine-day spell where we played three, totaling 11 additional frames.
As for tonight, the D-backs have chances tonight and tomorrow to do something they've never done: win a regular-season series against the Yankees. The team are 0-5 in franchise history for those series. Indeed, only one time have they ever got to play possible series-clinching games, when they won the first game in 2010, before losing the next two. Even after last night's victory. Arizona are only 5-11 for the regular season against New York, which is their worst record against any of the other 29 major-league teams. It would take a sweep to change that: if the D-backs can win the next two, the resulting .389 win percentage would move the Yankees above the Cardinals (.377). Still: we won the series that mattered!