Roster locked in
[Arizona Sports] Chafin, Hazelbaker make team as Arizona Diamondbacks finalize roster - Lovullo had hoped to have his team in place before these last two exhibition games. "The final roster has taken a little while for us to drill down to because of how these guys have gone out and really performed and made this decision hard on a group of people that were set out to evaluate them. In certain cases we wanted to let that process play out for as long as it possibly could have," he said. "I personally want to just say thanks to the guys. I want to acknowledge their hard work and their patience."
[AZ Central] Chafin, Hazelbaker claim Diamondbacks' final roster spots - The competition between Chafin and Bracho was close, manager Torey Lovullo said. "It was a very tough decision," he said. "Both guys were starting to throw the ball really well. I think if you throw out the outing Chafin had against San Francisco, his numbers would have been totally different. But inside of each appearance, the fastball command and the velocity was coming back. The secondary pitches were starting to show a little more consistency and we like the idea of having a second lefty in the bullpen.
[dbacks.com] Andrew Chafin, Jeremy Hazelbaker make D-backs - While Chris Owings did play center at times in 2016, Lovullo said the D-backs do not plan to use him there this season unless it is absolutely necessary. Instead, Owings will get the bulk of the playing time at short over Nick Ahmed, although they don't want to label Ahmed a backup. "As you look at it in the way, I'm trying to format it in my mind, Nick Ahmed is not a backup infielder," Lovullo said. "He's going to get a number of starts at shortstop."
Other team news
[Buffalo News] Torey Lovullo gets long-awaited chance to manage with Diamondbacks - Preparation and attention to detail have long been Lovullo hallmarks, and that's the approach he's taking to get the Diamondbacks moving in the NL West. "What I've been talking about with these guys from day one is we want to win a pitch, every pitch," he said. "If you win a pitch, any pitch, you can win that moment. It might help you win an inning and ultimately win a game. We know about the National League West, how tough it was. If we can win one extra game that way, we're all for it. It doesn't sound like a lot but when you break it down to the level we try to break it down to, it does matter."
[Arizona Sports] Again, the Arizona Diamondbacks aim for a good start - The D-backs have suffered through five straight seasons of no playoff baseball. A good start could go a long way towards ending what is the longest postseason drought in franchise history. "If you’re expecting to compete and go out and have meaningful games played in August and September, you got to have some sort of a good start," Lovullo said. "I want to have a good start for those guys in that clubhouse. For the amount of work they’ve put in, for the focus and the level of intensity that they’ve played with, I am hoping that they are rewarded for all of that hard work."
[Forbes] Can The Arizona Diamondbacks Ever Strike Again? - The Diamondback's 20th anniversary could be viewed by management as something of a clean slate, with first-year manager Torey Lovullo leading the way, but the roster must perform up to standards. With the National League Western Division looking more competitive this season, getting the Snakes to strike again could prove to be a tall order.
[AZ Central] Quirks and all, Fernando Rodney brings fun to D-Backs - "If you play sports or you’re an artist, whatever you do – and maybe it could even be the police – you’re going to find some people who no like you," Rodney said. "They don’t like how you walk. They don’t like how you talk. It’s the same way in baseball. Sometimes, they don’t like how you wear your hat, how you flip your bat, how you step off home plate and remove your batting gloves. But me? I’ve always been the same guy. I’m not going to change. I like who I am."
[dbacks.com] Five Statcast storylines for Diamondbacks - Statcast metrics show that offseason additions Jorge De La Rosa and Fernando Rodney may still have something to offer. Though Rodney's 2016 was a tale of two halves (0.31 ERA with Padres; 5.89 with Marlins), the closer allowed an average 85.8 mph exit velocity over the past two seasons, fourth-lowest among relievers. De La Rosa, who is expected to begin 2017 in the D-backs bullpen, also struggled to a 5.51 ERA pitching for the Rockies in 2016. At the same time, however, De La Rosa allowed an average exit velocity of just 87 mph -- good for the 10th-softest contact allowed by any qualified starter.
[NPR] Do We Really Need To Speed Up Baseball? - What makes baseball boring — and I agree that lots of people think baseball is boring — is the same thing that makes classical music or physics boring (to some people). It's difficult. It takes knowledge and focus to understand what's happening on the baseball field. It takes not only experience, but also curiosity and patience to realize what's at play in a baseball game. For one who can perceive all this, the game is anything but slow. In fact, it's way too fast. You've got to be quick to keep track of what's going on so that you don't get stuck making decisions too late.
[The Ringer] The Best Player in Baseball Doesn’t Want to Be a Superstar - Center fielder Mike Trout didn’t spend much time in the clubhouse proper, but he spent almost all of it talking to people — a quick chat and a handshake with an Angels PR staffer, a laugh with nearby teammates, and then a series of those four- or five-minute conversations with reporters. Trout stood by and answered every question dutifully but succinctly, mindful, as the best player in baseball, of how in-demand he is. "I just want to be a guy people like," Trout told me. "Kids like me, and I just [want to] respect the game."
[For The Win] The 10 weirdest minor league baseball team names, ranked - This weekend, you’re going to see a bunch of transactions involving Major League players who will be sent down to the minors — "[Player X] optioned to Triple-A Syracuse." But what you miss there is the actual team name, which robs us of some of the absolutely wacky, off-the-wall monikers minor league franchises have. That’s what we’re here for. Here’s a collection of some of the weirdest, ranked.