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Spring Training Gameday Thread, #7: 3/1 vs. Cubs

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Welcome to March, a month in which meaningful baseball games will be played!

Oakland Athletics v Arizona Diamondbacks
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 04: General view of action between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Oakland Athletics during the spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 4, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Four weeks from today, the Diamondbacks will have their Opening Day contest against the Dodgers in LA out of the way and in the books. The regular season will have begun, and we’ll know for certain whether the team is on its way to triumph or disaster. Okay, maybe not quite the latter, but I’m sure the rush to judgment will be swift. This is definitely going to be a year of transition for the Diamondbacks. Less than half the D-backs on the 40-man roster at the start of spring training are carried over from the same point last year: just nineteen. That’s a sharp drop from the 30 who remained from 2017 through 2018, and also below the 24 and 22 returnees in the previous two season.

Marte back in center today. Interestingly, his early appearances at the infield were design, according to Torey Lovullo. He said they got tips from the Mariners, who did a similar thing with Dee Gordon, and they suggested letting Marte start at a known position initially. Said the D-backs’ manager, “I think all good infielders want to know they have the infield under control before they transition out. That’s what Ketel decided he wanted to do … early in spring training. We’re following it through his eyes. We want to make sure he’s comfortable.” I can see the sense in this; I’d imagine most of the work is done out of games, considering the average MLB centerfielder made less than 212 putouts per game last season.

For most of us, this will be the first chance we get to see the 2019 version of the Arizona Diamondbacks, because it’s the first new game of the year on Fox Sports Arizona. Maybe your boss will head out early, since it’s Friday. :)