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Preview #74: 6/21 @ Pirates

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Zack Godley starts in the series opener.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Jon Jay - RF Josh Harrison - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Austin Meadows - LF
David Peralta - LF Starling Marte - CF
Daniel Descalso - 3B Colin Moran - 3B
Ketel Marte - 2B Francisco Cervelli - C
Alex Avila - C Josh Bell - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Gregory Polanco - RF
Jarrod Dyson - CF Jordy Mercer - SS
Zack Godley - RHP Chad Kuhl - RHP

A roster move was made by the Diamondbacks since the last game. Matt Koch was optioned down to Reno, with Jake Barrett called up to take his spot. This is just a short-term move: it was officially (if rather cryptically) announced by the team who’ll be starting on Monday, in Koch’s spot.

Clearly, it’s that highly-touted Dominican prospect Conchwasp Budweiser... Barrett will provide a bit of additional bullpen support for this series (shame we can’t bring Braden Shipley back up, purely for trolling purposes!), and it also means Shelby Miller will get as soft a landing as possible, pitching against the Marlins and their 30th-ranked offense in Miami.

Today will be the latest round in the battle between Zack Godley and Clay Buchholz, as they fight to avoid the same fate as Koch when Robbie Ray rejoins the roster, perhaps somewhere around the end of the month. Godley’s last couple of starts have at least had a decent K:BB ratio (16:5), though last time, it was very much a start of two halves. He Matrix’d his way past a litany of base-runners during the first four innings against the Mets, yet ended up going one out short of seven innings, his longest outing since April 9. Probably better to have finished strong, and hopefully whatever he fixed on the fly there, can be carried forward to this evening’s outing.

Bottom of the order looks a bit weak: Alex Avila, Nick Ahmed and Jarrod Dyson. Though Ahmed has been coming around a bit of late, as Sean noted earlier in the week. Nick’s OPS by month has almost been a mini-version of the Diamondbacks’ season: it started at .864 in April, then cratered to .453 in May, but has rebounded to .890 this month, and he has already easily surpassed the number of hits he had last month (16 so far, compared to 13 in May). The more he hits, the less will be the pressure on the team to go big and trade for Manny Machado. Ahmed’s obviously never going to bat at that level, but add in his defense and you’ll be surprised to learn they’ve both been worth 1.3 bWAR so far this year.