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Snake Bytes, 2/15: And, so... It begins

We’re on the way to Opening Day...

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks-Workouts The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Team news

[AZ Central] Healthy Robbie Ray is valuable in many ways - The logic here is straightforward. Ray has as much upside as any pitcher on the roster. He has a blazing fastball and a pair of breaking balls that have proven effective. He has the ability to be a difference-making force atop the Diamondbacks rotation. An effective Ray would seemingly increase the Diamondbacks’ chances to contend as much as any player on the roster could. At the same time, one player can do only so much, and even a dominant Ray doesn’t assure the Diamondbacks of competing for a postseason spot. But if he is good and the team is not, he almost certainly would be coveted in July by a contending team. And perhaps no player at peak value could return more in a trade than Ray.

[Arizona Sports] Mike Hazen not concerned about Zack Greinke’s absence - The D-backs have kept the reasons for Greinke’s absence private, and general manager Mike Hazen said Thursday. “There’s sort of those unwritten and written rules,” Hazen said. “First of all, it’s between Torey and Zack. I think there’s a level of respect you grant players who have done what Zack has done in the game. I think there’s looking at probably one of our most, if not our most, prepared player on a year-to-year, day-to-day, start-to-start basis. There’s probably a little bit of wiggle room there,” the GM added. “If Zack needs a couple extra days — we’ve seen him all offseason, we’ve seen him throw ‘pens already. We’ve seen what kind of shape he’s in.”

[] Arming for 2019: D-backs hoping Holland can bolster bullpen and clubhouse - Holland knows first-hand what strong leadership and clubhouse chemistry can do for a team’s bottom line. His 2015 Royals famously road talent, guts and guile all the way to a world championship. “They try and put numbers on all different stuff in sports these days,” said Holland. “But you can’t put a quantified number on a clubhouse meshing and getting along. In Kansas City, if you stacked the numbers up, maybe we weren’t the best team but we played like it. We knew our roles and took care of each other. If you have a clubhouse that fits together, that translates into a lot of wins.

[] Marte confident transition to CF will be smooth - “We feel like he’s capable of going out there and taking on that challenge,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I know that we would be asking a lot of him, but we’ve done a lot of work and we’ve done a lot of preparation as far as conversation and just making sure that he understands the reason for us considering this. I feel like he’s going to get a lot of looks in Spring Training and we’re going to see how that plays out, and he’s assured us that he’s comfortable and ready for that challenge.”

[AZ Central] Ketel Marte says he’s good to go in center field - Ketel Marte says he’s confident he can be the Diamondbacks’ answer in center field this season, and he sounded comfortable with the idea of bouncing between the outfield and the infield, a reversal from comments he made during the offseason. “I feel that I can be good out there,” said Marte, who was the club’s primary second baseman last season. “I know I’m going to be good. I’ve played center field before. I’m athletic with the talent to play anywhere.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs aim for stability with faith behind Lovullo, Hall says
- “The greatest thing about Torey Lovullo and the biggest reason why we extended him is because of humility. In the dugout, out of the dugout, in the clubhouse, out of the clubhouse, every player that plays for him believes in him and loves him,” Hall said, adding the D-backs extended Lovullo “to show the stability. I think one of the worst things you can have — in particular with a manager who you really like and you believe in his future and you hope he’s going to be here a long time — is he looks like a lame duck.”

[] Carson Kelly is familiar with spring facility - Right-hander Braden Shipley, who had surgery last September to remove bone spurs in his elbow, said he felt good after throwing his bullpen session Thursday. “It wasn’t allowing me to have my arm in a consistent slot on a day-to-day basis,” Shipley said of the injury. “So every day was just kind of feeling what I had that day. Command was inconsistent, breaking pitch was inconsistent and now I feel like everything is coming out of the same slot, and I’m able to really feel the ball out front.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs must decide if Rule 5 pick Nick Green is worthy of roster spot
- “You have roughly 45 days to look at somebody and see what they’re very good at and what they’re working on for the future,” Lovullo said. Lovullo said he creates comfortable environments early to get to know Rule 5 players before placing them in high-leverage situations. “You’re looking at somebody that will have to be at the big league level,” he said. “There’s really no margin for error. I think accepting that responsibility as a player and knowing that you’re having to execute right now tells me a lot.”

And elsewhere...

[USA Today] Trevor Bauer: Indians pitcher says he faced 'character assassination' - The spin used against him in the arbitration hearing? “Basically, that I’m a terrible human being," Bauer said, “which was interesting on their part. I thought that giving to charity, especially because they didn’t mention it was a charitable campaign, just mentioned the name. They don’t mention that I gave to 68 charities or that I donated over $100,000. Or that the whole point of the campaign was to bring awareness to all those charities. Nothing about that. They tried to tell me I was running my campaign because of those numbers."

Finally, in case you’d ever wondered what would be the next state it’d hit, if a home-run at Chase Field kept going... [via /r/baseball]