[MLB.com] Lindor, Pollock named Players of the Week - A.J. Pollock is in the midst of a career season, and the accolades are beginning to accumulate in his final season before free agency. As has been discussed numerous times, Fangraphs is currently using a neutral park factor for Chase Field to begin the season. Their metric wRC+ is a way to credit him for the value of each plate appearance outcome (single, double, triple, home run, etc.) while also scaling for park factors and league average offensive output. A wRC+ of 100 is league average, 80 is 20% below league average, and 120 is 20% above league average. Pollock’s current wRC+ is 174, a whopping 74 percent better than the league average batter. That is well beyond his career norm. His hard contact rate of 44.7% is also substantially higher than his career average as is his fly ball % of 41.5%. Whether he can sustain that over the course of a full season remains to be seen, but if he does he could be staring at a league MVP award before a substantial pay day.
[Arizona Sports] Box ’em up! Boxberger thriving in closer role for the Diamondbacks - Brad Boxberger is a perfect 11-for-11 in save opportunities this season. All 3 of his earned runs allowed this season have come in non-save situations. Brad shows a remarkable calmness on the mound, even with runners on around him, and remains determined to secure his assigned three outs in the 9th inning.
“Brad Boxberger follows a game plan as good as anybody,” said Lovullo after Sunday’s win against the Houston Astros. “He pounds the zone. He, once again very similar to Matt Koch, knows what he wants to get to and doesn’t get rattled. He’s able to slow the game down and hit some spots with some key pitches in key locations.”
[AZ Central] Injuries an early determining factor in National League West - The National League West figured to be one of the more competitive divisions in the league, but injuries to key players have changed the landscape in the marathon to the Postseason. The Colorado Rockies have only missed time from Carlos Gonzalez and D.J. LeMahieu, but every other team in the division has had to look towards minor league depth to get by. So far this season, the Diamondbacks have not allowed injuries to Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray, Steven Souza Jr., and Jake Lamb to slow them down as they currently pace the division.
“I don’t know how it’s been in past years, but there’s been a lot of big, key players, and you can go (look) at every team in this division,” Souza said. “That’s part of the season. I think at the end of the year, when a team can stay the most healthy that’s usually the team that ends up the best. Hopefully, every team has depth and throughout the year you’re tested. I think that’s where everybody is at right now.”
[Fox Sports] Dodgers host MLB-leading D-backs - What would be sweeter than defeating the Dodgers in a rematch of last year’s NLDS this Postseason? Denying them the opportunity to even make it that far would be just fine in my opinion. Sweeping this two game series from them would put the Dodgers 10 games back from the division lead.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” manager Dave Roberts said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve got a team that is smelling blood, in Arizona, playing well. We’re chasing those guys.”
[KTAR] Sharper Point: Would a Diamondbacks move mean fewer fans? - I am mainly including this because one of the hypothetical sites included, “Norterra* Stadium”, would be a bike ride away from my primary residence and place of employment. Trips to and from Chase Field make up most of the mileage on my vehicle, so a stadium near the I-17 and Loop 303 would save me a ton of time and money. But we’ve been down that road before with the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale. I also watched that go up 5 minutes away from childhood home in the middle of a cotton field with no existing business to anchor activity in that corridor. North Phoenix is growing slowly, but it would not be an ideal choice if ownership is looking to increase attendance. The 303 would give West Valley residents quick transit to the site. East Valley folks from North Scottsdale could zip over the Carefree Highway. Most of the traffic would likely come from those in the metro area coming up the I-17. There just is not enough commercial activity, bars, restaurants, and nightlife currently at that site to anchor a professional baseball stadium.
Around the League
[ESPN] Power Rankings: Which AL East juggernaut is No. 1? - So get this. Last week Houston and Arizona were ranked 2 and 3, respectively. Arizona takes 2 out of 3 games from the Houston this weekend. The response is to move the two teams down to 3 and 4, but keep Arizona behind Houston? That is a clown list, bro. In fairness, the Astros do have a better pythag record than the Diamondbacks, but some respect on the name would be nice. Bleacher Report takes the D’backs down one spot to #3, a result of the New York Yankees 15 game surge. Same story for CBS Sports. Sitting at #3 ahead of the Astros on USA Today as well.
[Cut4] Mets’ P.J. Conlon became the first Irish-born player to debut in 73 years, and his family was just a tad excited - It is staggering to me that it has taken 73 years between career debuts for an Irish born player considering the amount of Irish immigrants to the United States around the birth of professional baseball. You can find a list of Irish born MLB players on Baseball Almanac, or Baseball Reference. P.J. Conlon broke the drought on Monday debuting for the New York Mets.
[MLB.com] Cards support Piscotty after mom’s passing - Gretchen Piscotty, mother to Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty, has passed away at the age of 55 after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. The St. Louis Cardinals traded Piscotty to the A’s, among other reasons, to be closer to his mother during her final days. Yu Darvish announced that he would be donating $10,000 to a foundation committed to research surrounding the disease.
“From the moment we drafted and signed Stephen, he and his family became a part of the Cardinal family,” club president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in a statement. “We were saddened to hear of the passing of Gretchen and want to let Stephen and his family know that we pass on our heartfelt condolences.”
[Sporting News] Danny Farquhar injury update: White Sox RP released from hospital - Danny Farquhar has been released from the hospital following a ruptured aneurysm which caused a brain hemorrhage during a game on April 20th. His doctors do anticipate that he will be able to pitch again in his career, but he will spend the rest of the 2018 season recovering.