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Spring Training Gameday Thread, #10: 3/4 vs. Reds

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Luke Weaver looks to build on a solid first start for the D-backs, as he makes his Cactus League debut.

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Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I wonder how much pressure Luke Weaver is feeling, having been part of the return for the best position player in Diamondbacks franchise history? He and Carson Kelly will certainly be under scrutiny from Arizona fans, even though it’s likely the trade will end up favoring the team in terms of long-term production. That’s simply down to playing time: one year of Goldschmidt got us five years from both Weaver and Kelly, and that’s not even counting any production from minor-leaguer Andy Young, or the draft pick. If those two average anything more than half a win a year, the D-backs come out ahead. But it must be admitted, things probably would not feel that way.

If Weaver can become the pitcher we hope - and he was a top 100 prospect in baseball before the 2017 season - then things will seem considerably better. His first start for the D-backs involved a pair of scoreless innings, but it would obviously be incredibly premature to try and draw and conclusions from that. After a disappointing 2018, Weaver is looking to change up his repertoire, with a better curveball being seen by the pitcher as playing an important role in his arsenal this year. While “Pitcher with a new pitch” is certainly on everyone’s card for Spring Training Bingo, Weaver feels mechanical adjustments over the winter have improved the pitch.

This afternoon will be his formal debut for the Diamondbacks. Weaver’s first outing was on a backfield against a squad of Korean players from the NC Dinos. He pitched two scoreless innings on a hit and a walk, and used the curve to induce a double-play ball. Something to keep an eye on today. Though by “keep an eye,” I really mean third-party reports, since there’s no apparent broadcast stream to be found for this one!