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Snake Bytes, 7/19: While the Blue Jays fly South...

An off-day for the D-backs, the team getting to rest after a couple of heart-stopping wins over the Dodgers. Can that carry forward against the Blue Jays?

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Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks relievers are learning on the fly - For a club buried in the standings, the second half could be an opportunity for the Diamondbacks to get several of these relievers – including Barrett, Enrique Burgos and Silvino Bracho, among others – chances to establish themselves heading into next season, particularly at a time when their 2017 bullpen looks almost entirely unsettled. "I’m sure they’ve all done it at one point or another, pitched in late-inning situations with leads in the minor leagues," Hudson said. "That’s good for them to be getting that experience right now. It’s only going to help them in their careers in the long run."

[] Diamondbacks players ignore trade rumors With trade rumors continuing to swirl, even more so as the Deadline approaches, it could be easy to think that may be in the back of the minds of players whose names are in those conversations. Arizona reliever Tyler Clippard said that's not the case. "As players, we're so routine-oriented and we have the ability to put the cleats on every day, go out there and focus on the task at hand each individual day," Clippard said. "All the other stuff that's outside what's right in front of us on a day-to-day basis is something that we don't really process, for the most part."

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks' Derrick Hall announces wife has breast cancer - Hall said in his statement to employees, "Keep up the great work and keep my beautiful Amy in mind. She will beat this and chalk up another much-needed victory in this season's win column. She may lose hair, but she will win life. And we will be two, young, lovingly married, cancer survivors. We love you all dearly. Go D-backs, and go Amy, Mama Strong!" We wish Mrs. Hall all the best in her battle.

[] D-backs' Jake Lamb earns NL Player of the Week - Lamb, 25, dominated the Dodgers coming out of the All-Star break, going 7-for-12 with one home run, two doubles and four RBIs to help lead Arizona to a series victory over Los Angeles. Lamb recorded multiple hits in all three games against the Dodgers, including a three-hit performance in Saturday's 12-inning, walk-off victory. He also homered in Sunday's 6-5 win. "He's swinging the bat really well, very confident," Chip Hale said. "When hitters are hitting like he's hitting, they're seeing the ball really well."

[AZ Central] Hudson working to find rhythm amid uncertainty - His slide coincides with speculation Hudson could be traded before the Aug. 1 deadline. Already the team has parted with closer Brad Ziegler, shipping him to the Red Sox July 8, and while Hudson would appear to be another possibility as he’s in the final season of his contract, his recent showing could certainly affect his trade value. "It’s tough," Hudson said. "It’s going to be in the back of your mind. Just try to not let it bother you too much and just go out there and get three outs when they ask you to."

[Inside the Zona] Trading Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller is Not In the Cards - While Greinke has worked out to some degree, there’s almost no way he earns every dollar paid to him. Miller’s struggles have been well-documented, and although the D-backs paid more than they should have the first time around, they’d do worse to sell-low and compound the issue. Turning Inciarte, Blair and Swanson into a mediocre AA prospect doesn’t make business sense and would look unimaginably bad for the organization. The situation is was costly by design and the team isn’t about to turn that around any time soon.

[Minor League Ball] MLB Rookie Report: Mike Freeman - Despite the three strikeouts in his first MLB game his reputation is as a contact hitter; he lacks over-the-fence power but has shown some gap pop at times. He runs well and is very adept at using his speed on the bases and in the field. Although he's hit for high averages in the friendly PCL, his track record in more difficult environments was less impressive. Overall, Freeman projects as a 25th/26th man due to his defensive versatility, base-running and contact bat.

And, elsewhere..

[] Your guide to a 154-game Major League Baseball season - If baseball were invented tomorrow, how many games would there be in a season? There's no practical reason for a season to be twice as long as any other professional sport. When baseball was commercialized, television didn’t exist. People would get home from the factories and stare at piles of sawdust until it was time to go back to the factories. There was a void, and there weren’t a lot of competing sports. That’s the context you need to think, "I KNOW. 154 GAMES. THAT SEEMS REASONABLE." Everyone was just tired of staring at sawdust and writing letters.

[Ars Technica] Baseball exec gets 46 months in prison after guessing rival team’s password - A former executive for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, Christopher Correa, was sentenced Monday to 46 months in prison. In 2013, he successfully guessed a password to access an online database for confidential data held by another baseball team, the Houston Astros. Correa pleaded guilty earlier this year to five counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a notorious 1980s-era hacking statute.

[For The Win] Roger Clemens is returning to play baseball on the most random roster we’ve ever seen - Former big-league pitcher Roger Clemens is still going to give this whole "playing baseball" thing a go at the age of 53. And he’s going to be joined by the most random assortment of former MLB players that we could ever think of. It was announced Sunday that an "MLB Star" team of sorts will compete in the summer’s National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan. Participants include former D-backs Adam LaRoche and Koyie Hill.

[Science News] Scientists throw a curve at knuckleball explanation - Knuckleballs baffle baseball players with their unpredictable swerves. A new study suggests a possible cause of the pitch’s erratic flight — sudden changes in the drag force on a ball, due to a phenomenon called a drag crisis. The result is at odds with previous research that attributed the zigzags to the effect of airflow over the baseball’s seams. Scientists report the finding July 13 in the New Journal of Physics.

[HuffPo] This Little Guy Lived An Entire Life During An 18-Inning Baseball Game - On Sunday, a small child in a yellow Under Armour T-shirt packed an entire lifetime’s worth of emotions into a single afternoon. Between when the first pitch was thrown out at 1:35 p.m. at the Washington National–Pittsburgh Pirates game, and when the 18-inning marathon ended 5 hours and 48 minutes later, the child experienced pain, joy, suffering, frustration and on and on. Seriously, if an emotion exists, this kid felt it.