If I were a gambling man, I would venture to say that this series makes the National League West more difficult to decide. The Diamondbacks could fall further from first place, or take sole possession. Alternatively, Arizona could win two out of three against Colorado while the Dodgers take their next three making them the team to chase. Of course, the Dodgers face the Rockies after our series and we could be right back where we currently are. Perhaps the Rockies sweep both teams and build a considerable cushion. This is the sort of delirium three days of moving and an obsession with baseball create. Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound against German Marquez (5-3, 4.19 ERA) in a heavyweight matchup of two teams in the thick of a division race.
[FanRag Sports] AJ Pollock exits rehab game with right quad tightness - What are the chances that A.J. Pollock plays in less than 100 games in a D’backs uniform from this point forward before he enters free agency? Pollock is essential to a late season run for this team in a tough second half schedule. I have said in the past and continue to advocate that the Diamondbacks should not enter a bidding war for his services should he hit the open market. It may be best to sign him to a multi-year deal with incentives for games played prior to him hitting free agency. His talent is unquestionable but useless without him on the field.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks mapping out trade deadline plans - On the other hand, the alternative is trading Pollock for some sort of return to the club either in the form of prospects or an addition to the parent club. (*Prepares to be called in the Pit Office). I would love nothing more than to see him in 2015 form everyday on the field for the Diamondbacks, but the clock is running out. Marcell Ozuna is mentioned in the article as a potential player on the block, but it is unlikely the Diamondbacks have enough prospects to land a player of his caliber.
“When the time comes,” Hazen said, “if we’re standing in a position to help make the team better, we’re going to try to make the team better.”
[Venom Strikes] Is Archie Bradley the next great super reliever? - It appears that the Archie Bradley as a starter role is dead in the water this season, and I am agreeable to that. If we were told at the start of the season that we could add an Andrew Miller type arm to the back of the bullpen without giving up anything, most of us would have been ecstatic. That is exactly the type of production Bradley has provided. He is working at a quicker, high octane pace in his new role.
[Inside the ‘Zona] Don’t Forget About David Peralta - David Peralta has transitioned from batting cleanup to second this season, and has possibly made some changes to his approach at the plate to get on for those hitting behind him. He is striking out significantly less while increasing his walk percentage from last season. Without sacrificing his hard hit contact percentage, he has decreased his pull rate and number of home runs but is on pace for a career high in doubles. Sometimes it is ideal to have the Freight Train on the tracks.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs through 70 games: By the numbers - The Diamondbacks are basically awesome at everything right now, and it is never a good idea to throw numbers at me in the midst of mental exhaustion. Again, there should not be any argument made against Paul Goldschmidt for MVP should he finish the season leading the NL in WAR. Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke are currently forming the best 1-2 punch since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, or Brandon Webb and Dan Haren for the young people.
Around the League
[ESPN] Power Rankings: Can one club pull away from the NL West pack? - How the Diamondbacks are kept at #6 and the three headed monster in the NL West does not occupy the top three spots is beyond me. Bleacher Report gets a little warmer moving the team up two spots to #3 as does Sports Illustrated. FanRag slots them at #5 along with USA Today.
Baseball's new labor contract imposes a cap on bonuses for international amateurs, with 16 teams limited in 2017-18 to $4.75 million, six to $5.25 million and eight to $5.75 million — all not counting bonuses of up to $10,000. That limits the 2017-18 bonus pool to $153.5 million. And under the new rules, international amateurs were redefined as under 25 years old and with less than six years of professional experience, up from 23 years old and less than five years of experience. That means less money will be chasing more players.
[USA Today] 11 things to know about the 2017 MLB season if you haven't been paying attention - Another beautiful baseball season is taking shape, and we are barely halfway through the campaign. As difficult as the late season schedule is for the Diamondbacks, a significant portion of those games will be played against the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs who may be looking to play the role of spoiler at that point. Not something that could have been said with ease to begin the season.