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Snake Bytes 4/2: Coming to America

Outside of a bumpy 6th inning, Merrill Kelly makes San Diego look like the same old Padres in his Major League debut.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 10, San Diego Padres 3

[D’] Kelly goes six to win long-awaited MLB debut - And the best start the first time through the rotation goes to... Merrill Kelly? The D’backs desperately needed some length from their pitching staff last night. Fortunately, Kelly and Jon Duplantier, both making their MLB debut, combined to toss all nine innings giving the bullpen some much needed rest. All three Padres’ runs were charged to Kelly and came in the 6th inning. He was effective throwing 58 of his 88 pitches for strikes. Meanwhile, Duplantier allowed only a single hit and struck out two of the nine batters he faced.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs top prospect Jon Duplantier earns save in MLB debut vs. Padres - Duplantier is on the cusp of becoming a Major League regular and did nothing to put that into doubt last night. He generated plenty of weak contact and even induced a double play off the bat of Manny Machado.

[AZ Central] Adam Jones making instant impact with Diamondbacks - As awful as the D’backs pitching has been in the first five games of the season, the offense has yet to score less than five runs in a single contest. They hung a ten spot on San Diego last night and had secured tacos by the third. Adam Jones slugged a lead off home run, his third dinger of the season, giving Arizona an early one run lead. Arizona finished the evening with fifteen hits, six of them going for extra bases.

“I think it’s just the work and preparation – and it’s not my first rodeo,” Jones said. “The lights turned on on Thursday and it’s go time. My mentality is to grind it out. So far, I’ve had some good results. I just want to continue to have good at-bats. I can’t control necessarily the outcome. But I can control the at-bat and so far I’ve had some good at-bats.”

Diamondbacks News

[Arizona Sports] Duplantier describes emotional moment he told parents of MLB call up - You could feel Jon Duplantier’s raw emotion coming through during his postgame interview with Jody Jackson. It was as if he was in disbelief that a lifelong dream had finally become a reality for him. His three inning save was the first in an MLB debut by a D’backs rookie since Byung-Hyun Kim according to the FSAZ broadcast.

“I tried to call my dad and he didn’t answer the phone, so I started freaking out,” [Jon] Duplantier said. “When he didn’t answer, that kind of forced me to go ‘Oh, OK, what needs to happen now?’ So I called my mom and I thought it was going to be real calm…as soon as I heard my mom’s voice, I started breaking down in tears. ‘Mama, mama, you got to get dad.’ She thought something terrible had happened. They finally got onto speakerphone and I got to tell them. We were a mess for the next five minutes.”

[The Athletic] ‘His knee is never going to feel the same’: What Souza’s brutal injury means - When the results of Steven Souza Jr.’s MRI came in on his injured knee, it was natural to wonder if he might ever be able to set foot on a baseball diamond in the future. There is a roadmap, on a very long, windy road, for his path back to playing. Zack Cozart suffered a similar injury himself in in 2015, and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith nearly lost his ability to walk because his injury included nerve damage. Whether Souza ever plays again or not, we know, at least anecdotally, that his knee will never feel the same.

“Some people may be strong enough to come back and play but can’t play at the level they were playing before,” [Dr. James] Gladstone said. “But other people come back and play just as well as they were playing before. Those are the little things you can’t always fully know.”

Around the League

[CBS Sports] MLB Power Rankings: It’s early, but the NL Central might already be baseball’s most interesting division - Power rankings this early in the season are as useless as belly button lint, but lets have a look anyways. At least the writers acknowledge this. Arizona slots in at #23 per CBS Sports. Bleacher Report houses the snakes at #22. Yahoo Sports sees them as the worst team in baseball, which is frankly a bit of an overreaction following the rebound we saw last night. Sporting News has the D’backs around the consensus #23. The Athletic believes the Los Angeles series was a clutch home run and fluky glove save away from being a disastrous sweep at #28.

[ESPN] Passan: Huge contracts and big concerns. What’s going on with MLB salaries? - A neatly packaged summary on the state of free agency and contract extensions in MLB. We’ve seen a flurry of extensions in recent weeks (See: Goldschmidt, Paul) at a time when middle tier free agents in their 30’s have found it difficult to land a multi-year contract. It’s a balancing act for players to cash in on a significant payday when teams are becoming smarter on how funds are allocated.

[MLB Trade Rumors] Hunter Greene To Undergo Tommy John Surgery - Cincinnati Reds top prospect, Hunter Greene, has elected to have Tommy John Surgery and will the 2019 season. Still just 19 years old the former second overall pick has plenty of time to recover and hopefully reach his high promise.