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Preview #79: 6/26 @ Marlins

We welcome back Jimmie Sherfy to the bullpen.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks-Workout Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Jon Jay - RF Derek Dietrich - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Brian Anderson - RF
Jake Lamb - 3B Justin Bour - 1B
David Peralta - LF Starlin Castro - 2B
Ketel Marte - 2B JT Riddle - SS
John Ryan Murphy - C Miguel Rojas - 3B
Nick Ahmed - SS Lewis Brinson - CF
Jarrod Dyson - CF Bryan Holaday - C
Zack Godley - RHP Elieser Hernandez - RHP

Firstly, your daily roster update - or perhaps it just seems that way... Braden Shipley gets a quick hook after an ugly outing yesterday, where he allowed four runs in a 38-pitch eighth inning, the eventual margin of our defeat. Having thrown 48 pitches in total, he wasn’t going to be any use for the next couple of days, so gets churned back to Reno for the fresh arm of Jimmie Sherfy. He spent a week with the team already in mid-May, appearing in three games and tossing a pair of hitless innings, with two walks an a strikeout. This may be a short stay for Jimmie, with the team needing to make another roster move tomorrow, so that Robbie Ray can rejoin the rotation.

Godley has a 2.95 ERA over his last three outings, and was one out short of giving the team three quality starts in a row. This comes as a surprise to me, because it feels like Godley has been really struggling of late, to the point of there being a legitimate discussion as to whether he or Clay Buchholz would lose their spot on Ray’s return. That has obviously been tabled for a bit, given Buchholz going on the disabled list, but Godley’s recent outings have probably deserved to be filed under “ugly but effective”. Kinda like Godley himself. :) He has struck out a solid 21 over 18.1 innings in those three games, though eight walks and a pair of hit batters is rather too many free passes.

Like all of Arizona’s pitchers, he has been helped by Arizona’s defense. By Defensive Runs Above Average (Def), the D-backs are second in the majors, at +20.2, behind only the Cubs (21.9). That’s quite a turnaround, considering that last year they were well below average, coming in 24th at -19.7 runs, and were thereabout in 2016 too (-19.5). One of these (off) days, I’m going to have to break down this striking improvement by position and see where the drivers are. To this point, the team is on pace to be the second-best in franchise history defensively. The projected figure of +42.0 would trail only the 2011 D-backs, who were a startling +73.6. Maybe those “fundamentals” aren’t so bad after all...

Also, this is important: