[AZ Central] Diamondbacks lose their first game, but Zack Greinke sharp against Rockies - Welp, it was bound to happen sometime friends. Arizona had a strong chance to be able to sweep the Opening Series against Colorado with Zack Greinke on the mound for the series finale. The ace of the staff put the Diamondbacks in a position to win the game after going 5 2⁄3 innings pitched with 9 strikeouts, 5 hits, 1 home run surrendered, and no walks allowed. His outing was a welcomed success after the challenging spring he faced earlier.
“With what Zack walked through from the second or third week of spring training, I’m really happy with how he threw the ball,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I think he’s going to continue to build on that.”
[D’backs.com] Healthy Greinke fans nine in loss to Rockies - In stark contrast to Friday evening’s slugfest, we were provided a better pitched series finale on Saturday. Charlie Blackmon’s two solo home runs would be all the Rockies would need from their offense to secure a 2-1 win. The game fell six minutes shy of an even three hours, so perhaps the league should reconsider its use of “juiced” baseballs. Arizona managed only 5 hits, and Nick Ahmed came through with his Major League leading 6th RBI for the Diamondbacks’ only run. Paul Goldschmidt failed to reach base in the contest and remains hitless for the season, so I will be expecting those overreaction Fanposts any moment now.
“If you were to tell me that we were going to hold the Rockies to two runs before the game, I would’ve thought we had a really good chance of winning,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “But give their pitchers some credit. I thought our guys on the mound did an exceptional job. Zack was outstanding, five and two thirds, 83 pitches, what more could you ask in his first start of the year after getting nicked up in spring training? A very, very good solid effort all the way through. Offensively, we had a couple opportunities and just couldn’t capitalize at the right time,” Lovullo said. “A miscue or two at the wrong time may have cost us a big out in an inning, and those little things add up. Unfortunately, we lost the game.”
[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks Place Yasmany Tomas On Outright Waivers - It has become abundantly clear that Yasmany Tomas has taken a free fall down the outfield depth chart. This latest news could signal that we will not see him in a Diamondbacks’ uniform again this season barring catastrophic injuries to those ahead of him. The decision gives Arizona an available spot on the 40 man roster. Tomas still has $46 million dollars remaining on his contract, and any team who claims him would be responsible for that amount. Therefore, it is seemingly inevitable that he will end up playing for AAA Reno not on the 40 man roster. Having already reached 3 years of Major League service time, Tomas could reject the assignment and elect to become a free agent, but doing so would require him to forfeit the remaining amount left on his contract. Mike Hazen faced a similar situation as a member of the Boston Red Sox front office with Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Castillo has been paid at least $10 million dollars per season since 2015 and will be until 2020, yet he has not even sniffed the Majors since June of 2016.
[D’backs.com] Miller progressing, aiming for June return - The Diamondbacks will receive significant boosts to their bullpen options in the coming months. Randall Delgado is not far off from making his return perhaps by the end of April. Shelby Miller anticipates being able to throw in live game in short order. Arizona is in no rush with the latter who is coming off of Tommy John Surgery. Bringing him along slowly and utilizing him out of the bullpen when he does return would appear to be the best route to take in an effort to preserve his arm.
“I was letting a couple go and kind of testing it a little bit to see how it feels,” Miller said. “All my curveballs were really good. Cutter is decent right now. Fastball is amazing. Ball is coming out good. Timing is good, arm feels good,” Miller said. “I can’t imagine having to wait too much longer before I get into live games.”
[The Athletic] After his ejection just two games into the season, Ketel Marte learns his lesson the hard way - This is an argument which is difficult for me to understand or get behind likely because I was always an emotional competitor myself. I do not feel as if what Ketel Marte did to get ejected, break his bat on the ground after a called third strike, was done to intentionally show up the umpire or did it have anything to do with his recently signed contract. That is not me saying that he did not do it because he was frustrated with the calls going against him earlier, he likely was. Regardless of the reason he has to realize that he is an important member of the team, and getting ejected late in a game separated by a few runs puts a win in jeopardy. Umpires are becoming increasingly sensitive and trigger happy, so he will need to be mindful of how he expresses that inevitable frustration.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs recreate first pitch of inaugural game on 20th anniversary - Besides recreating the first pitch of the inaugural game in 1998, the Diamondbacks displayed clips of the opening ceremony of that game on the jumbotron. I was only six years old when that game was played, so seeing that footage was essentially the first time for me. It had an extreme 90’s feel to it. What was up with that bizarre dance number featuring the girls in retro baseball uniforms? On the other hand, the individuals who parachuted into then Bank One Ballpark had some serious cojones on them pulling off a stunt like that.
[D’backs.com] Race Against Cancer family affair for CEO Hall - The Diamondbacks hosted their sixth running of the Race Against Cancer Saturday morning. The race began in the shadow of Chase Field, and participants could choose to take part in the one mile or 5K event. Some participants and organizations raised thousands of dollars prior to the race. For many of those who were there, the event was personal either being a cancer survivor themselves or by knowing someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Around the League
[Sporting News] Dodgers-Brewers talking Ryan Braun swap - Ryan Braun to the Los Angeles Dodgers has been rumored for the better part of the past season and a half or thereabout. The Dodgers have been one of the few teams not on Braun’s no trade list, as if Diamondbacks fans need anymore reason to hate either individual or team. The Brewers have a surplus of outfielders, so Los Angeles including Matt Kemp as part of a potential swap is likely only the tip of the iceberg to this rumor.
[Sports Illustrated] Watch: Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki Robs Jose Ramirez of a Home Run - Pay some respect to the elder, and perhaps one of the greatest hitters of all time, Ichiro Suzuki. At 44 years old, Suzuki’s playing days are rapidly dwindling, but he did not let that stop him from making an exciting catch at the wall to rob the Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez of a home run. The perfectly timed jump earned him a standing ovation from the Seattle crowd.
[Yahoo Sports] If not Shohei Ohtani, then who? - Shohei Ohtani already made his Major League debut as a hitter on Opening Day, but he will now get the call on the mound for the first time today. Ohtani will be tested quickly over the 162 game season, and it remains to be seen if he can keep up with the workload of being both a pitcher and designated hitter.
[FiveThirtyEight] Your Guide To The 2018 National League - FiveThirtyEight likes the National League West and its chances of sending two teams to a Wild Card showdown again this season. The Diamondbacks brass is seemingly keen on strong defensive play and lockdown pitching as the keys to success this season as opposed slugging it out against their opponent in a high scoring game. The good guys are headed in the right direction after taking two out of three games against the Rockies in the first series of the season.