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Snake Bytes, 4/5: Home Opener!

Chase Field will be kinda busy this afternoon, as we take on the World Series champions

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San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Team news

[] 3 takeaways from D-backs' first road trip - The starters have to pick it up,. While Arizona's offense was looked at as a possible weakness, the starting rotation was supposed to be a strength. "I know they're going to be fine," Lovullo said of his starters after the Dodgers series. "I want to see them get after it a little bit and I know that will be the challenge to them." That was the case against the Padres as fifth starter Merrill Kelly had a nice debut and Greinke and Ray pitched better in their second starts.

[Phoenix New Times] Home Opener: Diamondbacks' Walk-Up Music - Below is the walk-up and warm-up music for many of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who open their home season on Friday, April 5, against the defending world champion Boston Red Sox. The list is painstakingly categorized and graded from best to worst. If you assumed that music isn’t as essential to baseball as the bats themselves, you’re likely better suited for billiards.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs offense thrives in first week without Goldschmidt - While only starting in four games, Walker has proven himself to be a true offensive presence in the D-backs lineup. In just 19 at-bats, the 28-year-old has recorded five extra-base hits, including three home runs. Walker has also posted an impressive average exit velocity of 98.0 mph. Walker, who has yet to play more than 40 games in a season at the major league level, previously showed his ability to drive in runs during his time with the Triple-A Reno Aces. In 2017, he was the Pacific Coast League MVP after recording 32 home runs, 114 RBI and a .597 slugging percentage in 133 games with the Aces.

[The Athletic] Ranking the 10 best prospects in the Diamondbacks system - According to the​ team’s​ own​ general​​ manager, Arizona’s system probably ranks in the bottom third of the league. But that’s not to say there is no talent making its way through the minors. There are interesting young players climbing the organizational ladder, including a trio at the top who likely will debut in the majors in the next couple of years. There is a host of talent at the lower levels, too – products of good international signings and a strong 2018 draft – although that group has yet to accomplish much in pro ball.

[AZ Central] J.D. Martinez: Diamondbacks could have signed him 'easily' - “I don’t want really get into that (details of the negotiations),” Martinez said last week. “But it could have got done. I think so. Easily.” Martinez’s agent, Scott Boras, met with Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick twice that offseason. Boras said he set up the meetings because of how much Martinez liked the Diamondbacks. But, sources say, they were nowhere near in terms of total value or length of contract to what he wound up taking from the Red Sox. The Diamondbacks’ exact offer is unknown, but it is believed to have been in the range of two years and $50 million.

And elsewhere...

[Baseball Essential] Juicy Speculation: Home Runs are Up – and That Means Something Must be up With the Baseball - It didn’t take long for lively discussions to start about how the baseball must be livelier and that is the reason behind the surge in home runs and offense. That kind of talk had reached a crescendo during the 2017 World Series after a season in which a record 6,105 homers were hit. Last year homers fell to 5,585, and the talk died down. Now, offense is back and so are the conspiracy theories.

[] Final Cactus League attendance numbers released - Overall, an early start in February and a series of six rainouts contributed to a slight decrease in attendance, to 1,737,975 from 1,774,978. But the league also played 11 fewer games this year and Cactus League President Jeff Meyer, a Scottsdale Charro, was pleased to note that the average game drew 7,900 fans, 217 more than last year. “Despite an early start and unfavorable weather, the numbers show that Arizona’s spring training attendance remains robust,” Meyer said.

[Daily News] Mets flight delayed because Dominic Smith couldn’t pee enough for his drug test - The first baseman had a difficult time completing the test in a timely fashion, due to his lack of urine at the end of the game. "They had to wait for me to pee,” Smith said. “Bus was at 10:05, I got done peeing at 10:45. They had to wait. But I mean, it got us out of batting practice today. So some people are happy about that.” Smith said he started chugging water in the ninth inning – as soon as he learned he was one of the two selected players for the test. “I went, but I didn't go enough,” Smith said. “I had to wait until my bladder was ready to go. It took another 35-40 minutes."

And if you want something to kill your productivity on this Friday - if you’re at work at all, rather than “phoning in sick” from Chase Field...