[D’backs.com] Hazen talks Leake, López and spring progress - Mike Leake aggravated a previous fracture of his left (non-throwing) wrist just before camp opened and has been limited to throwing bullpen sessions with someone catching the return throws for him. While Leake says he feels he could be ready to start the season if he gets into two, or even just one game, the D-backs have not yet greenlighted that. Right-hander Yoan López allowed four runs on five hits over one inning of work Sunday and he will need to perform better to make the Opening Day roster. “Inconsistency,” Hazen said. “We are stressing the continued need to improve his consistency of command. That needs to happen with both his fastball and his breaking ball.” López, 27, was a big part of the team’s bullpen in the final month of 2018 and all of last season, but Hazen has been insistent that very few players have come into camp with their role assured.
[Arizona Sports] Lovullo looking past spring training stats when evaluating D-backs - Stats are an integral part of any sport. They can be used to show trends, both good and bad, and give those tuning in a better look at who is doing what on a given day. But stats don’t always tell the full story. There’s much more that goes into a game than just the numbers on a piece paper. Especially during spring training, where the games don’t impact a team’s record moving forward. While there’s no doubt the Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring training numbers will be evaluated by the coaching staff, skipper Torey Lovullo is taking a deeper look into much more than just what the stat sheet shows.
[The Rattle] The five X-factors for the 2020 Diamondbacks - According to Google’s dictionary, an X-factor is “a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.” In our case, then, we are essentially left to answer this question: If the D-backs were still playing late into October, who was probably responsible? Here are my top five, in alphabetical order.
[AZ Central] Pitching depth allows Arizona Diamondbacks not to sweat Mike Leake injury - Right-hander Mike Leake’s status for the start of the season remains in doubt due to a fracture in his left wrist, but the Diamondbacks don’t sound overly concerned. Not only do they believe Leake wouldn’t miss more than a start or two, they also feel comfortable in the rotation depth that exists behind him. That is, namely, right-hander Merrill Kelly, who worked into the third inning against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, giving up just one earned run in his second outing of the spring. General Manager Mike Hazen said the team’s comfort level with potential replacements wouldn’t be the biggest factor, but he said it could play into the decision to give Leake additional time.
Around the League
[The Athletic] Keith Law’s farm system rankings for all 30 MLB teams - 4. Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks traded two major-league stars for a total of seven prospects, but those deals have little to do with their ranking here, with two already graduated and only one of the other five in the team’s top 10. It’s about everything else: very productive drafts, goosed by some extra picks and a little good fortune (e.g., the No. 4 player on my 2019 board, Corbin Carroll, getting to them at pick 16), and some strong early returns on international classes, including a payoff on an early, aggressive effort in the Bahamas. They’re even here despite trading their No. 1 prospect at the time, Jazz Chisholm, to Miami in July.
[MLB.com] New tech, quick feedback huge for Crew’s arms - Using video and other technology to engineer pitches isn’t new. Second-year Brewers pitching coach Chris Hook figures that 75 percent of the arms in a given Spring Training camp are working on something new. What’s changed — swiftly and dramatically — is the process. The Crew and other teams not only have a better understanding of the data, but they can also give a pitcher real-time feedback on the mound. A pitcher who throws a pitch in the lab can turn around and ask, “How was that?” In a matter of seconds, he’s looking at TrackMan graphs or Edgertronic video, right there on the spot. “A second after you throw the pitch, you’re getting a slow-mo video of what your hand is doing at release,” said 2019 first-round Draft pick Ethan Small, who spent the offseason adding a slider. “If you can’t get better with that, I don’t know what you can do.”
[Bleacher Report] Ranking MLB’s 25 Most Overhyped Players Entering 2020 - 12. SP Luke Weaver, Arizona Diamondbacks. The Good After posting a middling 4.95 ERA in 136.1 innings with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018, Luke Weaver took a significant step forward last year after he was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Paul Goldschmidt blockbuster. The 26-year-old had a 2.94 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 69 strikeouts in 64.1 innings. The Bad While his 3.09 FIP and strong strikeout numbers provide plenty of reason for optimism, Weaver was hit hard last season. His exit velocity allowed (16th percentile) and hard-hit rate allowed (11th percentile) both give reason for pause, especially in a hitter-friendly ballpark in Arizona. He’s a tough one to peg in terms of long-term potential, and he will be one to watch in 2020.
[Forbes] How Major League Baseball Is Monitoring The Coronavirus Outbreak - As the situation with the coronavirus changes on a daily basis, MLB is looking to health officials as they prepare for any impacts to events with large crowds. According to the source, the league is actively monitoring the situation. They are already in contact with the Center for Disease Controls (CDC), as well as Health and Human Services (HHS). The Commissioner’s Office is providing guidance to the 30 clubs, staff members, and players that mirrors the CDC’s guidance and recommendations. The novel coronavirus that is under the official name COVID-19, has wreaked havoc on sporting events across the globe ranging from canceled F1 races, to empty stadiums for soccer and baseball in Japan, to impacts to rugby matches in Ireland. In France, the government has banned all indoor gatherings where more than 5,000 would attend. Larger still, the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan has been under scrutiny, although organizers and government officials have made it clear that the games will not be canceled.