[AZ Central] Starting? Closing? Searching for meaning in Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley’s tweets - Will Archie Bradley be a starting pitcher next season or a closer? Well, if you follow the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher on Twitter, you might have noticed some possible references to his role in the 2019 season in posts the past couple of days. Or is the pitcher just tweeting out a playlist?
[Prospects365.com] A Bahamian Breakout: 2019 is the Year of Kristian Robinson - Other than unfortunate and unforeseen injuries in the future, the hit tool might be the only thing that keeps Robinson from reaching superstardom. The 18-year-old is well-aware that contact rate is a skill that needs continued development, though, and it’s something he hopes to continue to develop in 2019. “Barrel accuracy,” Robinson answered when asked what he wants to improve this season. “And a smart approach both offensively and defensively.”
[Rum Bunter] Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Nick Ahmed Becoming Possible? - During the Winter Meetings it was reported by several people that the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Pittsburgh Pirates had discussions about Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed... Essentially the Diamondbacks have multiple players who can play shortstop now in Escobar, Locastro, and Ketel Marte, who played 28 games at shortstop last season. With all the additions of infielders, it seems like the Diamondbacks could be setting themselves up to trade one away, like Nick Ahmed.
[The Athletic] Diamondbacks chasing Dodgers: Positional depth a challenge in trying to avoid ‘the middle’ - To their credit, the Diamondbacks have a good enough team to give 2019 a go, see where they stand come June and July, then re-assess. If they’re in good standing, they can add. If they’ve fallen behind, they can sell. This sort of high-variance team-building has become popular among small- and medium-market clubs as it provides general managers with a variety of avenues to explore. With some bounce-back seasons, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Diamondbacks competitive. Swap those out for injuries and inconsistencies and they could be selling by mid-June. Neither outcome seems far-fetched.
[Prospects1500] Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 Top 50 Prospects - What a difference a year makes. Coming into 2018 the system was solidly in the bottom five of the league. Remarkably the 2018 Diamondbacks managed to both make a playoff push and revitalize their minor league system. So much so, I think the system is in the upper third in all of MLB... 2019 will prove a pivotal year as the system’s top bats make the big jump from hitter friendly A+ California League to AA. Also, GM Mike Hazen will have 8 of the top 100 picks in next June’s draft making this a fun system to write up for years to come.
[azcentral] Diamondbacks reporter Nick Piecoro named Arizona Sportswriter of the Year - Nick Piecoro, the Arizona Diamondbacks beat reporter for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, has been named the Arizona Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Piecoro will be honored with other state winners, national winners and Hall of Fame inductees at the 60th annual NSMA awards ceremony June 24 in Winston-Salem, N.C... Jeff Munn, who calls Arizona State women's basketball games, was named Arizona Sportscaster of the Year for the second time.
[SI.com] MLB, Rob Manfred may soon implement a pitch clock for 2019 | - No proposed rules change would improve baseball’s pace of action issue more than a pitch clock, which is why Major League Baseball officials prioritized getting a pitch clock for the 2019 season at a meeting with Players Association officials Monday. The union, which has been cool to the idea, said it would continue to discuss the issue with its players along with “smaller items” related to proposed rules changes that were presented Monday. MLB officials did not press for any rules changes regarding defensive shifts, which means shifts are likely to remain unchanged for 2019.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Mystery Teams Reportedly Pursuing Manny Machado - The presence or absence of so-called “mystery teams” — unidentified but active pursuers of a given player — has long been a subplot of the market for Manny Machado this winter. With the Phillies, White Sox, and (to a lesser extent) Yankees known to be involved in the hunt, the question is whether other organizations would quietly help drive the bidding.
[CheckSwings] The CheckSwings 2019 Mock Expansion Draft, Part 1 - You might remember, a while ago, we had a little exercise here where you were asked what players the team would protect in the event of an expansion draft. The results were funneled over to CheckSwings, who carried out such a draft, using the lists provided by sites such as this, and acting as the GMs of the expansion teams. Here are the results, with commentary on each pick, which makes for interesting reading.
[TampaBay.coml] Quinton McCracken rejoins Rays as Triple-A coach - "My family and I are extremely excited about this homecoming of sorts.'' [former Diamondback] McCracken said via text message. "The opportunity to rejoin the Rays organization and assist our player development staff in developing championship players and people, on and off the field, is a dream come true for me.''