School is out, and we are officially in the Dog Days of Summer this season. We should get our first gauge on how successful the Summer Pass is on this brief 6 game homestand. After a much needed day off yesterday, the Diamondbacks begin a 3 game set against the Padres and look to correct a 3 game losing skid. Robbie Ray (5-3, 3.00 ERA) makes his first start of the month after being nearly unstoppable in May against rookie right hander Dinelson Lamet (2-0, 2.70 ERA).
[D’backs.com] D-backs not sweating trip, still in 'good spot' - Find your happy place. Not exactly the way the team would have liked the road trip to go, but still not the end of the season either. .500 play on the road will not eliminate the team from playoff contention. A few of the losses were well within grasp determined by poor pitch location, defensive play, or lack of focus at the plate. Goldy’s missed throw on a double play he has turned dozens of times during the final game in Miami would have prevented the enormous inning had he not dropped his arm. Archie Bradley could have been more selective against Andrew McCutchen to prevent a walkoff. The team was outscored 44 to 39 on the road trip.
"I think we're obviously still in a very good spot," Lovullo said. "I know the road trip we finished 5-6 and had an opportunity to do much better than that, but I think these guys will enjoy their off-day tomorrow and come out ready to play on Tuesday."
[D’backs.com] Pollock (groin) taking day-by-day approach - The Diamondbacks were steamrolling opponents when A.J. Pollock initially went down with a groin injury, but his bat would be a welcome addition to the lineup at this point. He was leading the team in stolen bases at 11 before he went on the disabled list and only trails Paul Goldschmidt at 12 currently. Just do not ask him for an interview while the team is playing.
"I'm doing just about everything," Pollock said. "I think the running part I need to get ramped up to game speed, but everything else is game speed right now. I think I just have to get the intensity of my sprints higher and I'll be ready to go. Once I get the running where I need to get it I'll be ready to play."
[Cronkite News] For Diamondbacks’ Lamb, family bond means all - Jake Lamb and kin share the story of their strong family unit, and what their support means for each other. Dylan Lamb, the youngest of 4 children, will follow Jake’s footsteps and play baseball at the University of Washington. Megan Lamb would appear to be the strongest child when placed next to the 3 boys after being diagnosed with leukemia at age 3.
Deonne recalled a telling moment in their relationship from earlier this season when Jake was suffering through a slump at the plate. Dylan and his parents were watching the game on television at home when Jake struck out. Dylan reacted by taking matters into his own hands. “Dylan sent him a text just saying, ‘Hey, I know you’re struggling right now,’ ” Deonne said. “He just wanted to give him some support and tell him how important he was to him.” As it turns out, Lamb had intended to spend a few hours after the game hitting in the cage. Instead, a phone conversation with Dylan was all Lamb needed. The very next day, Lamb took off on a tear, putting his slump behind him. “Dylan liked to say it was all because of him,” Deonne said with a laugh.
[Arizona Sports] Goldschmidt, Owings remain fourth in latest All-Star balloting - I hereby petition Jim to revoke all Pit access to any members that have not voted at least 5 times. Admittedly, Chris Owings and Goldy deserve to be on the roster as reserves. Ryan Zimmerman is having a spectacular season at first base to say nothing of how consistent Paul has been. Might the Diamondbacks find a few more selections among the stellar pitching staff?
[Fangraphs] The Jeff Mathis Factor - The videos in this piece comparing 2016 Wellington Castillo to 2017 Jeff Mathis are jaw dropping. If you have been skeptical about the effects of pitch framing, watch them 500 times. Watch them again. Beef ranked 95th in framing runs saved last season in a nearly full time role. Jeff Mathis ranked 13th in a part time split. Mathis serves as Greinke’s designated catcher and could be one piece to the potentially solved puzzle. Start grooming the future of the catcher position now.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks' attendance lagging behind team's success - I have attended more games this season than any other prior years already. That pace might slow down after the purchase of my second property. You thought I was kidding about that conquest? A playoff push into September will lead me to questionable financial decisions regardless. This was also the first season I traveled with the team on the road. The team deserves our attention right now. Set aside your opinions regarding the stadium issue or ownership group. Quit using the heat as an excuse. The men on the field might thrive off of added fan energy at Chase Field. Bring your young children out and pass down the tradition of baseball. Fall in love with someone overseas and get that person hooked on the Diamondbacks. Do not let this season pass you by.
[AZ Central] Maricopa County drops search to fill lucrative Chase Field contract - Speak of the devil! To put this into context, the original story I intended to link published earlier in the morning discussed the current search for a new events manager. The county was not set to hold a vote until the end of this month. Ironically, the team declined to submit their own bid to manage events on their own as they had expressed desire to do so in the past. No less than 12 hours later and the quest for additional bids has been cancelled. The list of possible reasons why the bidding was stopped are numerous. Perhaps MCSD is conceding to the team’s demands and will allow them greater control of booking events? Could they be balking on a lengthy court battle that would cost the taxpayers millions by allowing the team to explore other options? Is there a new agreement with the current management company, Select Artists’ Associates? Does the county plan on digging their feet in further putting additional strain on the team?
[T]he county's relationship with Select Artists' Associates has been strained by the drama with the Diamondbacks. CEO Charles Johnston wrote in a 2016 email to Frank obtained by The Arizona Republic under the Arizona Public Records Law. "(T)his unfortunate turn of events is having an effect on our ability to book business," Johnston continued. "... I am growing increasingly concerned about the negative impact that this evolving matter is having on us financially. Our being blindsided and not knowing what is going on has been a significant embarrassment to me and our staff. After 19 years of hard work and commitment to the Maricopa County Stadium District I am indeed disappointed to be the forgotten Booking Manager."
Around the League
[ESPN] Power Rankings: Everyone is chasing the Astros - Colorado lost all 4 games last week when their starting pitcher did not earn a quality start while winning each of the 3 that they did. As their pitching staff goes throughout the season, so does their placement in the NL West Standings. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the Diamondbacks and their road performance. Brandon Drury is hitting an NL worst .453 road OPS among qualified batters. At home he currently ranks 9th with a 1.072 OPS. Same story for Goldy who sports a .785 OPS on the road and a 1.205 at home. ESPN hold them at #6 as does the Bleacher Report. Sports Illustrated moves them down to #6. USA Today knocks them to #7.
[Yahoo Sports] Five heart-warming things that happened during MLB's Play Ball weekend - Always for the kids. Adam Jones worked with Baltimore youth during the Play Ball Weekend while the Detroit Tigers held a hilarious all kids press conference.
[Forbes] Hundreds Of Unopened Sports Card Packs Found In Aunt's Attic Likely To Top $1 Million - Someone go pick up Ken Kendrick’s jaw off the floor. I may swoop this collection up at auction to, you guessed it, further my conquest to acquire the team. Now we know the true reason why team salary has not increased! The pure joy of an automobile barn find or an untouched trading card collection in the attic is second to none. The debate for this collection is whether it is more valuable at auction sold as a whole unopened or individually. Trading cards of deceased players will not help us win on the field, Ken.
[Scout] The MLB All-Star Game Voting Needs to Change and Needs to Change Now - I am feeling that a poll is needed this week. The All Star Game voting has become a joke the past few seasons. I have zero interest in watching half of the Cubs’ roster take the field for the Midsummer Classic. Surprising that the Royals slump back to the cellar where they are comfortable, and suddenly the Cubs are the most popular team in baseball. I have changed primary team allegiance before, but that was in 2004. Do the math. Split the weight of votes among the fans, players, coaches, and media. The counter argument is that the game is for the fans, so they should be the deciding factor. Something something popular vote vs. electoral college. Take a look at some of the players leading in votes.
Should the format of All Star voting be changed?
This poll is closed