[D’backs.com] Escobar keeps adding to impressive RBI tally - Eduardo Escobar needs one homer to complete a rare combination of statistical gems. Yet his brilliance in the batter’s box is apparent even when he’s not relying on power. Escobar singled to drive in a pair of seventh-inning runs Monday night for the D-backs, who outlasted the Giants, 6-4. The outcome enabled the D-backs (66-66) to leapfrog the Giants (65-66) on the fringes of the National League Wild Card race. Arizona ranks sixth among the league’s Wild Card contenders. With the bases loaded, two outs in the seventh inning and Arizona clinging to a 3-2 lead, the Giants switched relievers as Shaun Anderson replaced an apparently injured Trevor Gott. Escobar mashed a 2-2 fastball to center field, scoring Carson Kelly and Tim Locastro. That hiked Escobar’s RBI total to 103, keeping him solidly among the league’s top 10 in that category.
[AZ Central] Arizona Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker has played his way out of Paul Goldschmidt’s shadow - Christian Walker sat in the visitor’s clubhouse at Oracle Park working on a crossword puzzle. On a TV screen above him, MLB Network was running highlights of Paul Goldschmidt through the years. But Walker never broke his focus. He remained intent on the puzzle, paying no mind to the screen or the franchise superstar the Diamondbacks dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals more than eight months ago. It was a perfect representation of how Walker has handled first base in the first post-Goldschmidt season in Arizona; Walker isn’t in anyone’s shadow, or at least he isn’t anymore. “He was playing a position where one of the best players in the world was playing ahead of him in the same organization,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said of Walker. “But he didn’t let that affect him. He was waiting for his opportunity.” That opportunity was a long time coming.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs Triple-A 1B Kevin Cron named to 2019 All-PCL team - The Arizona Diamondbacks have had first baseman Kevin Cron on their major league roster at times during the 2019 regular season, but his power for the Triple-A Reno Aces has drawn attention. Cron, 26, was named to the 2019 All-PCL (Pacific Coast League) team on Monday. The 14th-round pick in 2014 has played 80 games for the Aces this year, registering 362 plate appearances and mashing 39 home runs and 103 RBIs with a .316 average and 1.224 OPS. Playing corner infield and designated hitter for the Aces this year, Cron finds himself as the first baseman on the honorary squad.
[The Athletic] Adam Jones’ days as an everyday player are over and ‘that’s perfectly OK’ with him - Not long ago, [Adam Jones] was a perennial All-Star, one of the few players fortunate enough to earn 10-and-5 rights. But this offseason he was left unsigned until two weeks left in spring training, and had to accept what was billed at the time to be a part-time role. His salary is $3 million, a steep drop-off from the more than $17 million he made in 2018. Looking back, he said, that was “a clear indication that things are changing.” He’s entering the part-time phase of his career and he’s doing with eyes wide open. “There’s still more I can do and still more I will do,” Jones said. “It’s just I’m not going to be playing 155 games a season anymore. That’s perfectly OK with me.” If Jones wanted to rage against the dying of the light, he could be forgiven for doing so. After all, the start of his season looked like a repudiation of anyone who ever doubted his abilities.
[The Rattle] Shoring Up The Diamondbacks’ Bullpen Won’t Be Easy - The Diamondbacks have done something unique this season. They’ve played 57 straight games within two games of a .500 record. That’s either two games over .500 or two games under .500. If you want to knock them for something, there’s plenty to pick from. But consistency, well, that can’t be questioned. It’s just that they’ve been consistently mediocre. One of the reasons for the team’s inability to go any kind of a sustained run lies in the bullpen where the group, as a whole has been (you guessed it) average. Their 4.44 ERA is 13th-best in baseball. They’ve been better than average in terms of walks and below average in terms of strikeouts. Cut it up just about anyway you want and this is a very average unit that has helped the team, as a whole, produce a very average win-loss record. So why hasn’t the bullpen been better?
Around the League
[CBS Sports] Trevor Bauer, former Indians pitcher: ‘I don’t really miss a whole lot about Cleveland’ - During his time with the Cleveland Indians, Trevor Bauer was never really one to keep his true thoughts a secret. Now with the Cincinnati Reds, it seems that’s not going to change much. Bauer, who was traded from the Indians to the Reds earlier this season, was asked about the transition over the weekend, and he had some rather harsh words that may not sit too well with the fanbase that cheered him on for years. “It was very easy coming in,” Bauer said of the move to the Reds. “Everyone did a really great job of being accommodating and making it easy for me to make the transition. The information is great here, the coaching staff is great here. Overall I am a whole lot happier here than I was. Sometimes you don’t realize how unhappy you are in a situation until you are out of it, because it’s just kind of day-to-day life. I miss some of my teammates and stuff, but overall, I don’t really miss a whole lot about Cleveland.”
[ESPN] Original Rays owner Vince Naimoli dies at 81 - Original Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli has died at 81. The team said Monday that he died Sunday nearly five years after being diagnosed with an uncommon brain disorder. The Tampa businessman had been part of unsuccessful bids to purchase and relocate the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants. But he landed an American League expansion franchise in 1995 that began play as the Devil Rays in 1998. Naimoli ended the Tampa Bay region’s two-decade-long pursuit to join Major League Baseball. He sold the club to a group led by current Rays principal Stuart Sternberg in 2004 and relinquished control after the 2005 season.
[Deadspin] Keon Broxton Earns Ejection With Badass Long-Distance No-Look Glove Slap - Broxton struck out looking on an outside fastball in the bottom of the second to end the inning. The pitch missed its mark by a good 10 inches, but may have clipped the edge of the zone; either way, Broxton was disgusted. He flipped his bat in disgust; he tossed his helmet in disgust; and he flung away his batting gloves in disgust. His left glove, frisbeed back toward home plate, hit umpire Manny Gonzalez right in the face. Gonzalez, who’d been watching Broxton’s helmet and removing his own mask, perhaps failed to notice that Broxton was throwing these items more-or-less blind.