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Snake Bytes: 6/1: Turn the page

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Goodbye, May. And good riddance!

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Conservative Party Conference 2017- Day One Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Team news

[Fangraphs] The Diamondbacks Were Just Impossibly Bad - There is, at least, an argument that no team has ever had a worse-hitting May. For what it’s worth, there have been worse-hitting other months. If you can believe it, in April of 2003, the Tigers managed an sOPS+ of 38. In June of 2014, the Padres managed an sOPS+ of 42. The Diamondbacks haven’t hit an all-time low for any month. But, I mean, there have been a lot of Mays. There’s been a lot of baseball. It’s little consolation that the Diamondbacks aren’t coming off the worst-hitting month that anyone has ever seen. Having perhaps the worst May is sufficiently upsetting.

[Arizona Sports] Lovullo: D-backs catcher John Ryan Murphy to get more playing time - "J.R. Murphy is doing a fantastic job. He’s going to start to get more playing time and that’s something that I have been working through as I’m doing these lineups in advance several days. I’m starting to get a good feel for getting his name in there, getting him out there and watching this production.” Lovullo maintained that he won’t be abandoning Avila due to his lack of offensive production, but he will need to see more. “Alex Avila’s got to step up, he’s gotta get the opportunities and step up,” said Lovullo.

[AZ Central] Which Diamondbacks are the real Diamondbacks? Relax. They did. - The question remains, which Diamondbacks are the real Diamondbacks? “Not really sure, not yet,” Avila said. “We basically had two ends of the spectrum in the first two months of the season. … I’d like to think we’re somewhere in the middle. As a team that aspires to get to the playoffs, your goal is to win 90 games. … That’s always the goal. And we’re kinda right on track for that.” He’s about right. At this pace, the Diamondbacks would win 84 games, but as Souza said, “as bad as it’s gone, losing 15 out of 17 games at any point in the year, you can be out of it pretty quick. And we’re right in the thick of things.”

[Arizona Sports] Nightengale: "pure panic" during Goldschmidt's approach at the plate - “Talking to scouts, they say the swing is the same. They can’t figure it out, but it certainly looks like he’s guessing,” said USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale. “People say it’s his eyesight. Obviously the Diamondbacks have him going through eye tests and everything else. But he’s just not recognizing the pitches that he used to... Now it seems like a lot of it is in his head. It’s just pure panic mode where he used to be pretty passive taking pitches and knowing what’s a ball and a strike."

[AZ Central] Goldschmidt's woes highlighted during Arizona Diamondbacks' struggles - “To me, it looks like he’s caught in-between,” said another scout, also with an AL club. “It looks like he’s thinking about something he’s never thought about before. He’s always been one of those guys who, when he was in the box, whatever his thoughts were or his approach was, it was always solid, and he never got off of it. Now it looks like there’s added thoughts in there, if that makes sense. When you get caught in between, you can’t pull the trigger. I’ve never seen him take more hittable strikes than he has this year.”

[KRNV] Aces, Diamondbacks agree to extend partnership through 2020 - The Reno Aces and Arizona Diamondbacks have signed a two-year renewal of their Player Development Contract, extending the Triple-A partnership between the two franchises through the 2020 season, both clubs mutually announced today.“We are excited to extend our affiliation with the Reno Aces, who have been a terrific partner for the last 10 years,” said D-backs Vice President of Player Development Mike Bell. “The Aces ownership, front office, and Reno community provide a Major League facility and player experience that is crucial in the development of our players.”

[dbacks.com] D-backs couldn't sign Kinsler twice out of Draft - "It was a good lesson for us as a young scouting staff at the time," Rizzo said. "I've used it from those years on: If you like a player, you've got to sign the player. Those two times that we drafted him, we loved Ian, we loved his ability, we thought he was going to be a great player, but we couldn't get together on the terms of the deal. That was a mistake that I made twice in a row with him and I've never made since." Each year, Rizzo reminds his scouts and scouting director of the lesson. "And I use Ian's name every time. When they say, 'He's looking for this, this and this.' I say, 'Do you like him? Do we have it in the budget to do it? Then sign the player.'"

[Stuff.co.nz] Former Diamondback pitcher set to join NZ baseball team - Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves pitcher Josh Collmenter is expected to be confirmed as one of the first players signed for the Auckland professional baseball team. Baseball NZ are close to signing off on their bid to join the Australian Baseball League and the ABL have pushed back their deadline for applications to join the expanded league to accommodate the New Zealand bid. The Baseball NZ board are having a meeting on Thursday night to officially sign off on their application.

And, elsewhere...

[MLB] Phillies score run without touching plate - Maikel Franco was at second with two outs when catcher Jorge Alfaro laced a single to center against Clayton Kershaw. Franco rounded third and headed home. The throw from Cody Bellinger arrived first, but catcher Yasmani Grandal could not handle it. Franco ran past the plate without coming close to touching it. Home-plate umpire Will Little called him safe. The Dodgers never protested, perhaps not seeing a replay before Kershaw threw his first pitch to Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola. It was the difference in a 2-1 win. While Kershaw's return was effective enough, "All his fastballs were 90.0 mph or slower. Last year, not a single one of his 1,142 four-seamers was slower than 90." He’s now having an MRI for his back.

[ESPN] Still-too-early MLB All-Star rosters - It's hard to believe, but we're a third of the way through the season, which means it's time for my annual still-too-early All-Star picks! (Think this is early? Well, we made our way-too-early picks in February!) [Spoiler alert: Patrick Corbin is the only Diamondback selected]

[MLB] 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting to begin - "The 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot launches on Friday, empowering fans all over the world to vote their favorite stars into the Midsummer Classic. The 2018 MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard takes place July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Fans can vote for All-Star starters up to 35 times through the All-Star Ballot, including a maximum of five valid ballots cast within any 24-hour period." Alex Avila is the D-backs selection for catcher. Go nuts voting, folks. :)