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Snake Bytes 5/7: Trouble at the Trop

Arizona was outplayed by one of the best teams in baseball. Can they turn it around againt “the opener” bullpen game Tampa has employed so successfully?

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks 1, Tampa Bay Rays 12

[Arizona Sports] Kelly gets dinged up early, Diamondbacks fall to Rays - Arizona ran into the buzzsaw that is Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays and lost, badly. It’s exactly what the team did not need following Sunday’s disappointing defeat. Tampa Bay had a six run lead by the conclusion of the second inning thanks in part to a Tommy Pham grand slam off of Merrill Kelly.

[AZ Central] Merrill Kelly: Struggles in Diamondbacks’ loss had nothing to do with facing Rays - We had our first Zack Godley sighting since he was removed from the starting rotation. He was tasked with mop up duty in garbage time with Blake Snell throwing a perfect game to the tune of a seven run lead. Godley gave up three earned runs himself over three innings, also walking three while allowing four hits.

“I felt like our guys were doing the best they could,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We have a very, very offensive team that he (Snell) kept in check. Sometimes you have to stop and give people credit and that was the situation tonight.”

[] Kelly already eager to put this one behind him - Merrill Kelly was hoping for better results facing off against the against his first professional organization but was instead roughed up in short order.

“The first three [innings] were, I want to get them out of my mind,” Kelly said. “I want to get that feeling, those pitches, those locations, I want to get them out of my mind as fast as possible, because it wasn’t good, and I want to be able to hone in on the good stuff and move forward.”

Arizona Diamondbacks News

[D’] Walker, Avila take important steps in rehab - No rush, Taijuan Walker. We’ll wait patiently while the rest of the pitching staff gives up twelve runs to the Tampa Bay Rays. Tai threw four innings in an extended Spring Training game with Alex Avila as his battery mate.

“We’ll reassess where [Avila’s] at tonight and see what the next steps are, but we’re getting a little bit closer,” [Torey] Lovullo said. “I know the hot question is, ‘Are we going to send him out on a rehab assignment?’ We’re going to see it through Alex’s eyes. Sometimes we don’t necessarily do that for a younger player, but Alex knows what he needs. We’re going to play through some scenarios.”

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks modifying Archie Bradley’s role out of bullpen - When you’ve got a WHIP of 1.86 as a (mostly) one inning reliever, you’re gonna have a bad time. Sunday was the boil over event many fans had been fearing from Archie Bradley for quite some time. The news is out and Major League hitter have too much experience against Archie to be caught off guard by his fastball.

[AZ Central] Torey Lovullo ‘may pivot’ away from Archie Bradley in setup role -

“I think we may pivot off of that from time to time,” Lovullo said. “I think we’re going to use some different combinations at different times to help us get through the games and get through the big innings... I feel like it’s the best thing we can do right now to give Archie a chance to not face the thickest part of every lineup,” Lovullo said. “He’s done that for three years now. That’s tough.”

[Forbes] D-Backs’ Rotation Change Can Be Traced To 2018 Collapse - Where was the hook on Sunday? I beg of thee.

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: NL powerhouses emerge in fight for No. 1 - I’d have to go back and look, but I believe this is the first time this season the Diamondbacks are cracking the top 10 on numerous outlets. They’re as high as #7 on Yahoo Sports. CBS Sports likes the snakes at #8. Arizona rounds out the top 10 over at The Athletic also lists the D’backs at #7.

[CBS Sports] MLB Mock Draft 2019: Oregon State catcher heavy favorite to go No. 1 overall to Orioles - All I’m reading is that Mike Hazen is super PO’d it is against the rules for him to trade all of his top 100 picks up to the #1 selection to draft Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman. I feel for the poor souls who are James Attwood and Michael McDermott that will have our draft day coverage. They’ll have a ton of ground to cover with a staggering number of draft picks.

[ESPN] Broadcaster Darling says he has thyroid cancer - New York Mets broadcaster Ron Darling disclosed that he has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He states that he should be back on the air within a month, which would put his prognosis closer to that of Doug Davis than the fatal outcome of the late Kevin Towers.