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Snake Bytes, 2/27: No ho-hoing at Hohokam

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Yesterday’s game was a chore, far more than a pleasure. But at least Luke Weaver appears to have survived.

Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Team News

[dbacks.com] Weaver: ‘Jitters out of the way’ in spring debut - Luke Weaver acknowledged that what he was about to say was a well-worn cliché, but really it was true — the most important thing he had to do in his spring debut Wednesday was get his work in and have his arm feel healthy. “I’m going to give you the typical ‘felt good, didn’t look good,’” Weaver said. “I left the mound not on my high horse. Obviously got humbled, but just have to take it easy on myself. It’s been a while since I’ve been competitive consistently. The ball was coming out good. I think I saw some good velocity numbers out of the fastball. Threw some good cutters. Threw some good changeups, some swings and misses for some strikeouts against a couple of really good hitters.”

[The Athletic] Why officials from a Major League Baseball franchise visited Vancouver - The Arizona Diamondbacks visited the Canadian city in 2018 amid concerns over the state of repairs at Chase Field, in Phoenix. Vancouver was on a list of a half-dozen potential (temporary) homes the team had received from MLB headquarters. “While working at Major League Baseball, I provided the team with numerous possibilities, including Vancouver,” Joe Garagiola Jr., who is now special advisor to the Diamondbacks’ chief executive, said in a written statement to The Athletic. “Club executives visited there to determine the reality of making it a contingency plan.”

[MLB.com] 5 trade options to replace Severino - Robbie Ray is where every pursuit of starting pitching now begins. But why would an Arizona team with legitimate postseason hopes even entertain the idea of dealing its No. 2 starter? First, Ray, 28, is in his final season before free agency. Second, in Madison Bumgarner, Luke Weaver, Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and others, the D-backs have enviable pitching depth. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen plays the long game better than almost anyone, and dealing Ray for a coveted prospect would make sense. However, Hazen would like to see more of his young pitchers before any Ray trade, meaning the Yankees likely would have to seriously overpay.

[FanGraphs] Ketel Marte Tries to Keep the Party Going - Per our depth charts, Marte is forecast to produce 4.3 WAR this year, a step down from 2019 but still a very respectable contribution. To get some historical sense of what his chances are of being significantly more valuable than that, I took a look at players from 1995 onward who were worth at least 4.0 WAR in their age-25 seasons, then charted what they did at age 26.

[The Athletic] The stature (and summer ball coach) shared by Kole Calhoun and Daulton Varsho - Kole Calhoun thought the name sounded familiar. The 32-year-old outfielder was fresh off signing a two-year, $16-million deal with the Diamondbacks and, after a career spent in the American League, he wanted to do some research on his new organization. The more he dug into the minor-league system, the more one name popped up: Daulton Varsho. He’d known a Varsho before. In fact, he’d lived with one. For three summers in college, each of which helped mold him into the big-leaguer he is today, Calhoun had played for a Dale Varsho of the Eau Claire Express of the Northwoods League. This Varsho kid was from tiny Chili, Wisc., just 90 minutes west. What were the odds they were completely unrelated?

[dbacks.com] D-backs, Mexican president excited for games - Hall headed a contingent of executives that included senior advisor Luis Gonzalez, special assistant on Mexico Erubiel Durazo and Spanish language broadcaster Rodrigo López. “This was a very special trip for me to be able to see the palace up close,” said López, who was born in Mexico City and played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues, including in 2010 with the D-backs. “I’m very proud of the work that the D-backs do in my native country and I hope that this series gives many fans a chance to see my hometown in person or learn about it by watching the game on TV or listening on the radio.”

[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks, Dalton Pompey Agree To Minor League Deal - The D-backs have agreed to a deal with outfielder Dalton Pompey, per Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell. Now 27 years old, Pompey was once considered to be among the game’s premier prospects. During the 2014-15 offseason, Baseball America rated him as high as 30th overall among minor leaguers, while both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus ranked him inside the top 50. Sadly, Pompey’s career has been waylaid by injuries — most notably a series of concussions. He barely played in either 2017 or 2019 due to concussions troubles, and a wrist injury limited him to 57 games in 2018.

And, elsewhere...

[USA Today] Astros batters keep getting hit by pitches: How will MLB respond? - If the first few spring training games are any indication, Astros batters are in for a long and painful year in response. In five spring training games in 2020, a total of seven Astros batters have been hit by pitches, counting split-squad games... Were the pitchers targeting the Astros, or did they simply lose control of inside pitches? It's difficult to tell, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has vowed to protect Astros batters from vigilante justice, which means the league will have to review each hit by pitch and make a very difficult decision whether or not to suspend a pitcher.

[NY Post] MLB cracking down on pitchers using foreign substances - Rule 6.02 is going to be enforced this year, The Post has learned. That is the edict that deals with pitchers taking foreign substances to the mound and applying them to the ball. Over the years a gentlemen’s agreement has evolved throughout MLB in which teams don’t challenge each other about sticky substances that pitchers deploy — such as pine tar or thick sunscreens — because so many pitchers are using something beyond the legal rosin bag.

[CBSSports.com] How minor-league baseball players, despite pay bump, continue to be exploited by MLB - The raises are a step in the right direction, but minor-league players remain exploited and mistreated by MLB. The increased salaries will still leave most minor-league players below the poverty line. That's because the players are paid for only the regular season, which stretches about five months, from April until the end of August. Players are not paid for spring training or for any instructional work they partake in after the season. They're also not paid during the winter.