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Snake Bytes, 6/8: Hello, Denver!

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It took until June, but the team makes its first trip of the year to Colorado

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Team news

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks acquire a 'hitting machine' in outfielder Jon Jay - Arizona has acquired a player Keitzman called a “hitting machine.” “It’s just amazing how much the guy gets on breaks, he just flat rakes,” he said. “He’s going to be on base all the time,” Keitzman said. “If Goldschmidt and some of the other big bats in that lineup can drive him in, the Diamondbacks are going to start scoring more runs.” As for Jay’s defensive impact, Keitzman wasn’t sure how to properly rate the outfielder. “Judging (Jay) for us is a little hard,” Keitzman said. “He’s a good outfielder, he’s not a great outfielder.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks trade for Jon Jay eying separation in tight NL West race - This won’t be like 2017, when the NL West was baseball’s hottest division and produced a 104-win Dodgers team, plus both wild-card clubs in the Diamondbacks and Rockies. At this point, the NL West-leading Diamondbacks would be a third-place club in just about any other division. (Only the American League Central, with four teams playing sub-.500 ball, is scuffling along worse.) Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco are all less than two games apart in the standings, and even last-place San Diego is within a hot streak of the division lead. They’re all singing similar tunes, too.

[Fangraphs] D-backs Upgrade to Adequacy with Jon Jay - Jay has the spray chart of a right-hander, but he’s made his living just hitting the ball hard to left field. For a D-backs team in desperate need of adequate production, Jay provides just that. Out in the field, Jay’s range is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of average with a below-average arm. He’s continued to play center field occasionally over the past few seasons, but his range is probably best-suited for a corner. Pollock will return at some point in the next month or so. The D-backs likely hope Souza’s recurring pec injury can fully heal, and at that point, Dyson and Jay can both excel as extra outfielders. Until then, Jay takes over at a position of desperate need for the D-backs to keep them afloat in the playoff race until reinforcements arrive.

[The Athletic] Paul Goldschmidt may be coming around, even if he won’t admit it - There are additional reasons to be encouraged when digging deeper. He’s struck out only 20 percent of the time in his last 12 games, a 10-point drop from before. He’s hitting more line drives and hitting it three miles-per-hour harder. He’s also made more contact in the zone and not fallen behind as often on the first pitch. He also recorded just his fourth hit on a fastball faster than 95 mph and the first of the four that he actually struck well... “I looked at the numbers from previous years, and I was good on fastballs,” Goldschmidt said. “It wasn’t like this has been a career thing. I think that was kind of my focus. It was more trying to know that if I can just be the hitter that I’ve been, then the stats will take care of themselves. It wasn’t like a glaring hole that’s always been there for my career that’s gotten worse.”

[AZ Central] Goldschmidt again showing signs of life - Before the team departed for Denver, Goldschmidt was asked whether he might have found his groove. He sounded more encouraged than he did in April. “The at-bats and swings were definitely better,” he said. “I don’t know if I’d call it a groove, but definitely it was a lot better, the last two days especially. Even that first game wasn’t that bad, even though I struck out a couple of times. I was able to swing at better pitches and take a few more good swings. I think the goal is to try to continue that and be consistent with that.” Said manager Torey Lovullo: “I’ve been feeling, for probably two weeks now, that he’s starting to get timed up and he was catching some balls, driving balls to all parts of the ballpark. I know he’s in a very good place right now and feels very good about it.”

[Inside the 'Zona] Diamondbacks 2018 Draft Thoughts - The first ten rounds of the MLB first-year player draft is in the books. There are more guys that will get drafted, but the focus is at the top of the draft and that’s for good reason. The value of picks drops off dramatically after round three and even more significantly after round ten. That’s not to say that guys that picked on Day Three can’t make it, but it’s highly unlikely they ever will. History tells us this is so, and therefore, I’ll just focus on the the eleven players picked on Days One and Two.

And, elsewhere...

[MLB] These 5 teams had the best Drafts - 3. D-backs. With its first three choices, Arizona nabbed three players it would have been happy to select at No. 25: California prepster Matt McLain (first round), a steady shortstop with precocious feel for hitting; Virginia’s Jake McCarthy (supplemental first), a speedy center fielder with a track record of producing at the plate; and Illinois high schooler Alek Thomas (second), another quick center fielder with similar tools to McCarthy. The D-backs scored a number of hard-throwing righties on the second day with Kansas’ Jackson Goddard (third), Wright State’s Ryan Weiss (fourth), Oregon’s Matt Mercer (fifth) and Florida prepster Levi Kelly (eighth). Another Sunshine State high schooler, shortstop Blaze Alexander (11th), offers the strongest infield arm in the Draft and also some raw power.

[ESPN] To shift or not, the bullpen shuttle and MLB's next big thing - Analysts now can look at what happened on all those pitches NOT put into play when the defense was shifted. The initial results cast into question the wisdom of widespread shifting in the first place. MLB.com's Mike Petriello, one of those aforementioned Statcast wizards, and Baseball Prospectus' Russell Carleton both leaped headlong into the data and came to similar findings. The shocker was this: Pitchers walk more batters when throwing in front of a shift. In fact, the extra number of walks exceed the number of singles saved by the strategy.

[LV Review Journal] Mets minor leaguer gives up 14 runs, immediately retires - Hours after being pulled from his third start for the 51s, Aaron Laffey officially hung up his cleats. Laffey, 33, threw three-plus innings in Wednesday’s game, giving up 14 runs — 12 earned — on 15 hits as the 51s lost 16-4 to New Orleans at Cashman Field. “He just felt it from inside that he gave it everything he had after 16 years,” manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “Plus, the results weren’t very good so that could have been part of it. But at times, you lose your fire and that’s where he’s at.”