[D’backs.com] Corbin gets D-backs’ Opening Day nod - The similarity to the last time Patrick Corbin was named the starting pitcher on Opening Day, in 2014, is undoubtedly eerie. He was tabbed to open the regular season against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia and was scheduled to make one final start at Goodyear Ballpark against the Cleveland Indians. As we all know, he left that game in 2014 with discomfort in his throwing elbow which required season ending Tommy John Surgery. Four years later, his final season in Arizona prior to becoming a free agent, he once again made one final start against the Indians in Goodyear before being named the Opening Day starter. It speaks volumes in regards to the long journey he has had in his career and as a member of a starting rotation that was historically dominant in 2017.
“A very well-deserved honor,” Lovullo said. “One that I know was supposed to take place several years ago.” “It was like the same situation,” Corbin said. “Just glad this time I’m ready to go, healthy, and I’ll be able to go out there and try to get us off to a good start.”
[Arizona Sports] D-backs trade for former ASU player Deven Marrero, select Salas’ contract - Mike Hazen dipped into familiar waters on Saturday when he acquired utility infielder Deven Marrero from the Boston Red Sox. Hazen was in the Boston front office when Marrero was drafted out of Arizona State University in the 1st round in 2012. He is nearly the same age as Nick Ahmed, arguably equally inept with the bat, and comes with his own fair share of defensive praise. The main difference between the pair is that Marrero can play all four infield positions. He is out of options, and Lovullo stated that his spot on the roster is not guaranteed.
“He’s going to find himself in all three of those spots,” Lovullo said. “He’s got a couple days to come in here, and do his job, play some innings, play some games and see what happens.”
[The Athletic] Something has clicked in Archie Bradley’s search for a slider - A few weeks back we touched on the Diamondbacks’ increased usage of secondary pitches and how it could have contributed to their success last season. Archie Bradley has aspirations to be a starting pitcher again one day, and he is going to need more than a fastball and curveball in his repertoire to be successful in that capacity. Bradley has been working on including a slider to his mix which, when thrown effectively, could further confuse opposing batters.
“As a guy who does have aspirations to start again, and just to be an all-around better pitcher, any time you can add to your pitches and your repertoire and your overall game, it’s just going to make you better,” Bradley said. “For when I’m off or the really good hitters that can see the curveball pop up, now I can offer hitters something that looks like a heater the whole way and then dives away.”
[D’backs.com] Goldschmidt unwavering in desire to improve - Paul Goldschmidt is one of the best players in the game today because of his nearly unmatched baseball acumen and desire to constantly improve every facet of his game. Will 2018 finally be the season that he wins the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award? A season of that caliber from him could potentially lead the Diamondbacks to a consecutive Postseason appearance.
“He’s a guy that studies every little thing, and I’ve always kind of studied just pitchers and just how they’re pitching, how they’re coming at me and stuff like that,” [J.D.] Martinez said. “But I feel like [when I was] with him he kind of just opened my eyes like there is more to the game in the sense of studying -- guys’ moves to first, the way guys will do pick-off moves to second. Just kind of every little thing about the game. I feel like Goldy does a really good job of playing the entire game and not just one side.”
Around the League
[MLB.com] Baseball qualifying rules set for 2020 Olympics - Baseball and softball are back for the Summer Olympics in 2020 for the first time since 2008. Only six teams will be competing, and Japan already occupies one of those spots as the host nation. Teams will qualify in 2019 during the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 Tournament. The Olympics have not done as well as the World Baseball Classic in drawing interest in the games largely because the game’s best talent, MLB players, have not always been allowed to play in the Olympics as they have been for the WBC. Doing so would require the MLB to halt its season during the stretch run, and many teams would be reluctant to loan their best players for high leverage international competition.
[CBS Sports] Rangers coach Howard Johnson hospitalized after being hit in face by line drive - Howard Johnson is the hitting instructor for the Texas Rangers’ AAA affiliate. Johnson was taken to the hospital after being struck on the left side of his face by a foul ball while leaning over the rail of the dugout. Managers of the MLB clubs typically sit on the field in chairs during Spring Training games, and this season they have had protective netting in front of them for protection.
“It was ugly,” said Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who had just left the game and was in the dugout at the time of the incident. “He was awake and responding to questions, so that was good, but it’s scary and you are worried. We are all part of this family.”
[Inquisitr] Red Sox Pitcher Chris Sale Injured, Expects To Start Opening Day - Chris Sale almost became the latest injury victim in the waning weeks before the regular season. In his final start before taking the mound on Opening Day, he took a line drive to the hip. After limping when he got back to his feet, the Red Sox training staff was concerned enough to remove him from the game. Sale has since come out and said he will be able to make his Opening Day start, so go run your hip into your dining room table if you are curious to experience what he felt.