[AZ Central] Torey Lovullo keeps pushing the right buttons for Diamondbacks - When he first saw the Diamondbacks’ lineup for Thursday afternoon, in which he was batting second, catcher Chris Iannetta figured there had to be some kind of mistake. “I asked if that was a typo,” Iannetta said, smiling while he described a conversation with coach Jerry Narron, who shows players the next day’s lineup the night before. “Then I asked if we were trying.” Iannetta was kidding, of course, but what wound up happening in the Diamondbacks’ 15-3 demolition of the San Diego Padres was typical of how most decisions by manager Torey Lovullo have played out so far this year: It came up roses.
[Arizona Sports] Behind Chris Iannetta, D-backs shell Padres to complete sweep - Chris Iannetta homered and drove in a career-high seven runs, while Daniel Descalso, Chris Owings and David Peralta each had two RBI to help the D-backs polish off the San Diego Padres, 15-3, completing the three-game series sweep in front of 21,340 on Thursday afternoon. The 15 runs marked a season-high. The D-backs have won a season-best nine straight home games and at 24-8, they have set the club record for the best 32-game home start. Patrick Corbin (5-6) benefited from the offensive explosion. He went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and eight strikeouts, to snap a two-start losing streak and extend his winning streak at Chase Field to five.
[MLB.com] Chris Iannetta has career-high 7 RBIs - Iannetta hit a pair of doubles and homered while driving in a career-high seven runs to lead the D-backs to a 15-3 win and a sweep of the three-game series. "It was great, it was exciting, it was fun," Iannetta said. "These are the days you play baseball for -- the chance to contribute and have fun while doing it. You feel like a kid doing it." D-backs manager Torey Lovullo had thought about putting Iannetta in the spot in front of Paul Goldschmidt. Finally, Thursday, he decided to trust his gut. "My conversation was brief with C.I. about what he was going to be doing today, but I felt like it was going to be the right situation to hit in front of Goldy and try to impact the game," Lovullo said. "I just felt like it made a lot of sense."
[AP] D-backs complete sweep of Padres behind Iannetta's career-high 7 RBI - Padres pinch-hitter Allen Cordoba was called out for batter’s interference in the top of the sixth with a man on base and the Padres trailing by one. Padres manager Andy Green wasn’t happy about home plate umpire Tim Timmons’ decision. “We got a really unique interference call there. Something that quite frankly I don’t quite understand, and I made sure Tim Timmons understood that,” Green said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to make an interference call on a ball that almost hits my hitter’s kneecaps off. That inning changes dramatically if you tie that game.”
[MLB.com] D-backs targeting catchers, pitchers in Draft - During his career as a scouting director, [Deric] Ladnier has focused on taking the best player available regardless of position, or whether it's a high school or college player. "Our objective in every round is to take the best player," Ladnier said. "Not by position, not by high school, not by college, but by how we have them ranked on the board. I think it's important to take the best player. Obviously, you want guys to get there sooner than later, but if that high school player is going to take a couple more years, but ultimately be way better than the college guy, then I can assure you we'd take the high school guy."
[AZ Central] Chris Iannetta proves why he's valuable to Diamondbacks - Iannetta explains that it’s more about helping the man behind him accurately see where a pitch came in. He breaks it down to body positioning, receiving the ball and staying composed. He says that if a catcher sets up too far behind the hitter, a pitch will drop and look low, even if it came over the plate in the zone. Another aspect, he says, is catching the ball and holding it in place, rather than following its momentum to the left or right. He reaches out a thick, left forearm to demonstrate, saying a catcher should be strong and keep the ball in place after it hits his glove. Finally, he says, keeping the body “quiet” shows that a ball came in as expected. Big jumps and exaggerated movements make pitches seem off target.
[Inside the 'Zona] A More Aggressive Paul Goldschmidt - It looks like what we’ve seen from Paul Goldschmidt isn’t luck, it’s for real. He’s swinging more, hitting the ball harder than ever, still walking and making plenty of contact. I can’t stress enough how rare this feat is in today’s game. So many players are sacrificing one thing for another in an effort to be more productive. Meanwhile, Goldy hasn’t sacrificed anything at all. He’s on pace to have the best season of his career in 2017, and while he can’t do this forever, he’s doing it now. As he turns 30 this September, it looks like he’s not about to slow down anytime soon.
[Fanrag] Fernando Rodney’s presence helps stabilize Diamondbacks bullpen - His fastball has averaged about 95 mph this year, according to FanGraphs, and Rodney prefers to top out right there. “The velocity is there (but) I would rather keep it 94, 95, because it will stay in the strike zone,” Rodney said. “Sometimes when I am feeling more fresh the ball runs. I get bad location. When I throw at 93, 94, 95, that is best. “Location is most important. I’ve been able to hit my spots, and that’s what it is. You locate the pitches, no matter if they hit it, the ball is going to stay in the park. That’s the best part right now.”
[Yahoo] The mystery of Shohei Otani - His legend has grown to proportions in which even myths wouldn’t dare traffic. The fastball. The home runs. The legitimate possibility of a two-way player better than anyone since the person to whom Otani is most often compared – only Babe Ruth, the greatest baseball player ever. All of it creates this mania through which teams try to sift and find the truth. Is Otani coming to MLB after the 2017 season? On this, there is significant skepticism, and it stems from a second question, which might be even more important than the first. Is Shohei Otani really willing to give up $200 million?
[ESPN[ Players unions for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL have met to prepare for potential legalization of sports gambling - Players' union executives have had several formal meetings to begin preparing for a potential legalization of sports gambling, NFLPA executive George Atallah told The MMQB, "Yes, the sports unions have been discussing the issue, in particular around the integrity of our respective games. We're collaborating on it. We might be open to changes that are coming because of [legalized sports gambling], but before we get to the revenue aspect of it, do we have the infrastructure in place to prevent any sort of shenanigans? That's the issue."
[CBS Sports] How Statcast has changed MLB and why not everybody seems all that happy about it - While Statcast has delivered us new prisms through which to view baseball, it has also attracted critics. Here, then, is the tougher question to answer: why isn't everyone on board with The New Big Thing? Much of it comes down to accuracy and availability. "It is incredibly powerful, when it works and is released to the public," FiveThirtyEight baseball columnist Rob Arthur said to CBS Sports. "The trouble is that it doesn't always work, and often isn't released to the public."