Brute Squad Podcast
[D’backs.com] Inbox: D-backs in running for Machado? - Steve Gilbert received a bit more reception in his monthly mailbag than Charlie did. Must be because the Snake Pit is a mediocre fan site or something like that. Gilbert addresses topics ranging from, (wait for it) Manny Machado, untouchable prospects in a trade, whether Mike Hazen should target a pitcher or position player, and if Jake Lamb is a lost cause at the plate this season.
[Arizona Sports] Summer Swoon: Breaking down the D-backs power struggle in 2018 - Arizona Sports briefly summarizes the drop in offensive production from 2017 to 2018 for the Diamondbacks. What came first, the humidor which could have potentially lowered offense at Chase Field, or a bout of serious underproduction for half the roster? You be the judge. Meanwhile, J.D. Martinez has picked up right where he left off last season slugging his 28th home run for the Boston Red Sox yesterday.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ depth forces Torey Lovullo to keep tinkering with outfield combinations - I’ll admit that I was dumbfounded when Torey Lovullo decided to start Steven Souza Jr. over David Peralta on Sunday after the Freight Train’s tremendous performance the night prior. The amount of depth and flexibility among the outfielders on the 25 man roster enables Lovullo to mix and match his lineups, but is that really the best route to take considering Peralta’s strong season to this point? He has been an anchor in the lineup with A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt this season, and is a more consistent offensive weapon than Jon Jay, Chris Owings, Jarrod Dyson, and Souza. We can only speculate if Peralta could have ended Sunday’s 16 inning marathon sooner and in favor of the D’backs.
“I feel like one of the reasons we were so good at the end of last year was because we were able to do what we are doing now, giving guys off and spelling guys with quality backups,” Lovullo said. “This is going to give us the opportunity to stay healthy for the rest of the season.”
[The Athletic] Strobe glasses and foam balls: Inside the routine Steven Souza Jr. says helps his pitch recognition - Sometimes when you’re an athlete who dedicates endless hours honing your craft, a unique drill to break up the monotony can help you smash through plateaus. You can find countless videos of strange drills online that baseball players use in an effort to gain a competitive advantage. A few are so strange you might be wondering what good it provides. Visual acuity is one of the most important skills a baseball player can develop. Outside the obvious repetitive batting practice sessions, players can follow a laser point with their eyes or face off against a high velocity pitching machine. For Steven Souza Jr., his method relies on trying to hit ping pong sized foam balls while wearing glasses that strobe his vision.
“It was a huge victory for me to be able to react,” Souza said. “It started giving me confidence going in the box, no matter if you’re throwing 98. In my mind, I had just already seen that and faced it. You weren’t going to blow that by me because I already know that I can make contact with it.”
Around the League
[ESPN] Power Rankings: Rising contenders, new faces shake things up - The up and down season for Arizona in the power rankings continues into this week. They round out the top 10 in ESPN’s standings. CBS Sports brings the D’backs all the way down to #12. The drop on MLB.com is down to #11. Bleacher Report knocks Arizona to #13. The only media outlet who advanced Arizona upward was The Athletic placing them at #7.
[MLB.com] Drury optioned to clear spot for G2 starter - Brandon Drury has found it difficult to remain on the 25 man roster for the New York Yankees. First, he had to miss time to have his migraine issues alleviated. Even after he was ready to return to the playing field the Evil Empire decided to option him to AAA. He spent only the past week with the Yankees before they again optioned him to AAA.
“It’s terrible news to have to give a guy that I would [say] is a big leaguer and doesn’t belong there,” Boone said. “It’s unfortunately the situation right now. All we can do is encourage him to make the absolute best out of the situation. He’s done a good job of that all year, of remaining focused. Hopefully, he gets another opportunity with us.”
[Sporting News] Orioles discuss pairing Zach Britton, Manny Machado to sweeten trade offer - Are you tired of hearing about the Manny Machado sweepstakes yet? Probably has something to do with the Baltimore Orioles dragging their feet for an offer that doesn’t exist. Now they are trying to lump in their former closer, Zach Britton, to increase their potential return. Because, you know, starting this process last season wouldn’t have landed them an even larger return than they are currently being offered.