[D’backs.com] Kelly gives D-backs much-needed innings - It wasn’t a pristine line for Merrill Kelly -- three runs allowed over seven innings of work -- but it was pretty good, and most important, he pitched deep in the game. By going seven innings, the right-hander kept manager Torey Lovullo from having to use long man Zack Godley, meaning Godley can start Sunday’s series finale. Had the team had to use Godley to get through Saturday’s game, it would have made for a mess of a bullpen game Sunday, and thrown the team’s pitching plans into disarray. “Merrill threw the ball extremely well,” Lovullo said. “He went as [hard] as he could for as long as he could.”
[AZ Central] Bullpen struggles resurface in Diamondbacks’ loss to Braves - Like several before it in the eighth inning, Archie Bradley’s fastball to Ozzie Albies was not well located, and after Albies knocked it into right field for a run-scoring single, many in attendance at Chase Field decided they had seen enough. They booed Bradley as he made his way back to the mound. Some booed again as he walked to the dugout. Bradley heard them. He did not seem to take issue with them. “When you don’t pitch well,” he said later, “you’re going to get booed.” (If all you throw is flat 96 MPH fastballs that you can’t control, you’re going to have a bad time.)
[Arizona Sports] D-backs fail to get big hit, bullpen struggles again in loss to Braves - On Star Wars Night, you do or do not. There is no try. And the D-backs did not despite coming close, as they dropped their second straight game of their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves, 6-4. Wilmer Flores went 3-4 with a run scored and David Peralta added two hits and a run, but the offense failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities with men on base. Arizona finished just 2-10 with runners in scoring position. “I thought early on we got outside of our approach and typically something that we’re very good at and have been good at, situational hitting, we came out of our game plan and just weren’t patient enough,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game.
[MLB.com] Saturday’s top prospect performers - D-backs: Drew Ellis, 3B (No. 15) --1-for-2, HR (2) (Double-A Jackson)Ellis’ fourth-inning solo shot in Jackson’s rain-shortened win over Mobile was his second homer of the season, both of which he’s hit in the past three games as part of a 6-for-10 showing at the plate. The 2017 second-rounder is hitting .275/.377/.407 in his first Double-A campaign after a first full season in which he slashed .246/.331/.429 with 15 homers and 34 doubles over 120 games in the California League.
[Arizona Sports] Zack Godley to rejoin D-backs rotation for series finale against Atlanta - Zack Godley will have a chance to redeem himself and earn back his spot in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ starting rotation. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo announced following Saturday’s game against Atlanta that Godley would start Sunday’s series finale between the two teams. “Zack will go ahead and be our starter tomorrow,” Lovullo said. “I’m kind of excited for him. I know it’s something that he’s been working hard to get to.” Godley was moved to the D-backs bullpen on April 30 following a rough start to the season in which he had a 7.58 ERA in six starts. Since his move to the bullpen, Godley has appeared in just two games.
[AZ Central] Performance isn’t going to change Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley’s personality - I think the moment you let your performance drive what you do and who you are, then you really start to struggle internally,” [Bradley] said. “Not just baseball-wise, but you as a person. The moment you let success or failure determine who you are or the way you going to act. You let baseball become more than it is.” Bradley is aware of how that sounds, how some might construe it as an admission that baseball isn’t important to him. That’s not the case, he said, but how he pitched the previous day isn’t going to stop him from enjoying the next. “It doesn’t mean I’m not working as hard as I can,” he said. “I think other people have a harder time putting it behind them than I do.”
Around the League
[The Athletic] ‘I’m going to make you look good’: How the Twins’ Willians Astudillo talked his way into becoming La Tortuga - When Astudillo’s not dazzling teammates at the plate, he can often be seen goofing off in the clubhouse during card games. But on this day, he sounds much like that brash 17-year-old back home in Venezuela, looking yet another doubter in the eye, and explaining why he knew to ignore the scouts and the computers. “I think,” Astudillo said softly, lapsing into English, “it’s talent.” With the Twins, a legend was born. After nearly a decade in the minors, Astudillo made his big league debut last season, hitting .355/.371/.516 in 97 plate appearances. He struck out just three times. That September, he endeared himself to the masses with a mad dash around the bases, with his cheeks puffed out and his helmet flying off in the madness. “I just wanted to show that chubby people also run,” he said at the time.
[CBS Sports] Blue Jays trade for Edwin Jackson, who could set a new MLB record by playing for his 14th different team - The Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics have made a minor trade with potentially historic significance. On Saturday, the Blue Jays acquired veteran righty Edwin Jackson from the A’s in a cash trade, both teams confirmed. Jackson, now 35, had been pitching in Oakland’s farm system this year. He managed a 6.75 ERA in three starts and 14 2/3 innings. The Blue Jays are currently without Clay Buchholz (shoulder), Ryan Borucki (elbow), Clayton Richard (knee), and Matt Shoemaker (knee) and need the pitching depth, hence the trade. The trade is potentially historic because, if Jackson ever does suit up for the Blue Jays, he’ll set a new MLB record by playing for his 14th different team. Jackson and Octavio Dotel currently share the record by playing for 13 different teams.
[MLB.com] Bumgarner submits 8-team no-trade list - As teams prepare to potentially pursue Giants left-hander and free-agent-to-be Madison Bumgarner, the veteran southpaw is doing some strategizing of his own. According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Bumgarner has submitted a no-trade list to the Giants. Bumgarner’s contract allows him to block trades to eight teams, and sources told Rosenthal that his list includes the Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies and Cardinals. Now, the fact that those teams are on Bumgarner’s list doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to avoid them. Rather, it’s a way for Bumgarner to gain some leverage over his situation, as the eight teams are all contenders that could be interested in acquiring him before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.