[D’backs.com] Souza hits 3-run HR in first Spring Training AB - One of the goals this Spring should be to keep Steven Souza Jr’s defensive dives graceful and his bat powerful. Yesterday was a good start. His three run home run in his first at bat off of Rockies starter Chad Bettis were the only runs that Arizona managed to tally.
“You’re just trying to find your timing for the first few games and see as many pitches as possible,” Souza said. “But I think I was a little passive last spring, and I couldn’t kind of feel where my swing was at, at times. I’m trying to revert that and treat it like a normal game
[D’backs.com] Rule 5 pick Green excited for new opportunity - The D’backs selected RHP Nick Green from the New York Yankees in the most recent Rule 5 Draft. His selection cost the team $100,000, and if they wish to retain him beyond this season they will need to keep him on the 25 man roster all of 2019 or work out a trade with New York. It seems fitting then that he was tabbed for the first start of this preseason. Mike Hazen and his staff will need plenty of outings to evaluate whether the young man will remain on the ballclub or not.
“Honestly, I try not to even think about it,” Green said. “I’m here with the team, and I’m having a great time. These guys are amazing. They’ve got the best freaking defense ever. So it’s awesome. I love being on this team. Everybody here is amazing, so I’m just enjoying where I’m at right now.”
[Arizona Sports] Ketel Marte’s transition to CF for D-backs begins in spring play at 2B - Twitter fingers were hot and ready yesterday when it was announced that Ketel Marte was starting at second base and not at center field, contrary to what had been mentioned numerous times this offseason. Socrates Brito was the man in center instead, as he should be, at least in Spring Training, in my opinion. Lovullo stated that Marte was not in center because there is a plan for smooth transition, which was confusing to many fans because what better time to experiment than during meaningless games? I expect Brito and Marte to be separated during split squad games to create plenty of competition at the position.
“There’s a strategy to everything we do so we have a schedule mapped out for him,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said on Friday. “At some point, you’re going to see him rotate out to the outfield. What that exact date is — I don’t have that right now.”
[AZ Central] Alex Avila ‘wasn’t happy’ about rough Diamondbacks debut, despite growth behind the plate - Few players on the roster had as rough of a season last year as Alex Avila did. Splitting time behind the plate with two other catchers likely did him no favors, but he will face the same issue again this season. 2018 was easily the worst offensive season of his career, he posted a 66 wRC+, but he did his best to not let his poor play with the bat bleed over into managing the pitching staff.
“My whole life I’ve kind of been a very even-keeled person, not really emotional either way, good or bad,” he said. “And the main reason why is the perception that my pitchers get over the course of nine innings. “To me, it’s important to make that they always see me in control. If they see me upset and angry about stuff that doesn’t really involve them over the course of the game, they’ll wonder how he’s in the control of the game and how they could trust me back there.”
Around the League
[Viva El Birdos] Paul Goldschmidt’s swing is a thing of beauty - Yup. We’ve been telling the rest of the league for nearly a decade that Paul Goldschmidt is perfect with a small audience. Go ahead and rub it in.
[ESPN] Nationals’ Max Scherzer says he’s ‘fundamentally against’ pitch clock - I think this might be the first and only time I will ever agree with Rich “Temper Tantrum” Hill.
“I didn’t notice the pitch clock,” [Rich Hill] said. “I’m against it, but I think it’s just really a fundamental thing for me. That’s it, period. It’s there, great, maybe we can be aware of it. But if it’s going to dictate the outcome of the game, I would hope everybody who loves the game and watches baseball would be against it for that reason only.” Hill added, “If it’s out there and it’s, ‘Hey, we have to pick it up, we’re using the clock to use as a warning or a guideline,’ that would be fine.
[Bleacher Report] Projecting the Next Big Thing on Each MLB Team - I personally would have gone with the Bahamian Bash Brothers™, Jazz Chisholm and Kristian Robinson, but that’s just me. Did I just coin that moniker for a pair of our top prospects? Remember you heard it hear first when they take the league by storm.
[The Baltimore Sun] Who’s in control of the Orioles? MLB wants answer as owner Peter Angelos ails -
With Orioles owner Peter Angelos in declining health, Major League Baseball has asked the team to inform it by June who is in control of the club, according to multiple sources. The request is the strongest signal yet that the Orioles are transitioning from the leadership of Angelos, 89, who is no longer able to run the team. What the league dubs a “control person” is likely to be one of his sons, John or Louis, and the appointment will require formal approval of the baseball club owners. Every club must designate an executive as the primary contact for MLB. The official is accountable for team operations and for ensuring league rules are complied with.