[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ Robbie Ray struggles in second start of spring - Robbie Ray left quite a bit to be desired against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his second start of Spring Training. The young left hander failed to escape the first inning and was charged with five earned runs. He left a fastball right in the wheelhouse of Matt Kemp who promptly deposited into the lawn in left center field among an obnoxious amount of Dodger fans. That was good for two runs, and he also allowed a solo home run to Kyle Farmer. The bullpen failed to bring much relief, and four of those arms combined to allow an additional eight earned runs. Neftali Feliz and T.J. McFarland were the only two who did not allow an earned run, but McFarland did allow an unearned run.
“That’s why it’s spring training,” Ray said. “Trying to work the kinks out and get things right before the season starts. Obviously, you don’t want something like this happening during the season, so it’s better that it happens now.”
The #Dbacks have allowed a staggering 58 runs over their last 5 Cactus League games—an average of 11.6 runs per game.— Jesse Friedman (@JesseNFriedman) March 3, 2018
[D’backs.com] Owings brings versatility to playing-time battle - Chris Owings made his first appearance at shortstop yesterday in the 14-6 loss to Los Angeles. Torey Lovullo has three viable options for the position in Owings, Ketel Marte, and Nick Ahmed. The dialogue so far has suggested different possibilities at different times, and this is very much a position battle to keep and eye on prior to Opening Day.
“We’ve told [Owings] along the way that he’s going to continue to maneuver and play all over the field, as he did last year,” Lovullo said. “He’s going to compete at short, and if he wins a spot as a starting shortstop, then he’s also going to continue to play third, second, left and right. Ketel has been told he’s going to compete to be our starting shortstop and, we’re going to look to play him at second base,” Lovullo said. “We haven’t defined anything. We want to get our eyes on things and see what it all looks like. [W]e value Nick as a shortstop,” Lovullo said. “I haven’t had a conversation with him beyond playing shortstop at this point.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks using playoff sweep by Dodgers as added motivation for upcoming season - Watching the Los Angeles Dodgers clinch an NLCS berth at Chase Field last season was deflating. The Diamondbacks did not play them that series with the same tenacity that they had during the second half of the season. Fortunately for Arizona, they now have that experience under their belt and hope to harness it not only to return to Postseason play but to advance further as well. In order to accomplish that, they will have to reach the Postseason for the second season in a row, something that has only occurred once in the franchise’s twenty year history.
“I know a lot went right for us last year and I still do focus on that,” he said, “but I think what’s still sitting fresh in my mind are the three games we lost to the Dodgers. We didn’t play our best baseball and they were on a totally different rhythm than we were and you saw how it led them to the World Series.
Around the League
[The Tennessean] Glen Campbell estate includes stake in Arizona Diamondbacks - Not much detail in this, but it would be interesting to know just how much Glen Campbell’s estate has invested in the Arizona Diamondbacks. The singer died on August 8th, 2017 at the age of 81 and had been battling Alzheimer’s Disease. Those of you interested in finally becoming a part owner should not get too excited because a judge has currently ordered that the estate’s interest in the club not be disposed of. Campbell’s family is currently in dispute over his estate after his widow, Kimberly, filed a will which prevented any proceeds of the estate from being distributed to his three children William, Wesley, and Kelli.
[Fanrag] MLB Spring Training prospect watch — Who’s hot? - A brief rundown on how some of the prospects of note around the league have been doing during Spring Training. Old friend Brandon Drury will not have a starting role handed to him should Miguel Anduhar have anything to say about it. He has already hit four home runs in seventeen at bats. Atlanta Braves’ prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. has been racking up the extra base hits, but the Braves appear to be more concerned with the position of his hat. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer needed roughly 38 seconds to send Tim Tebow back to the bench on strike three.
[Sports Illustrated] Justin Verlander Shares Data Suggesting MLB Ball Has Changed: ‘I Don’t Like Being Lied To’ - Justin Verlander is intelligent enough to do the legwork to support his own assertions. On Thursday evening, he tweeted out a graphic demonstrating the change in percentage a batted ball had to result in a home run between 2014 versus 2017 based on exit velocity and launch angle. It is his belief that this change can be attributed to a manufacturing difference in the game ball.
Been sitting on this... Exit velo and launch angle and it’s correlation to % chance of becoming a homer. 2014 vs. 2017 pic.twitter.com/UrfVVFVuJB— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) March 2, 2018
[Fox News] Arizona has slowly become the newest MLB spring training hotspot - Strange. I could have sworn the Cactus League has been around my entire life, and that at least half of the league’s teams have trained here for most of this decade. I was not aware that it was just now slowly starting to compare to Florida. /sarcasm.