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Snake Bytes, 7/11: T minus 13 to D-backs baseball

James was up FAR too early for a Saturday morning, so I’m standing in for him today, as we hit the penultimate baseball-free weekend

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Team news

[AZ Central] Kole Calhoun, Starling Marte clear protocols, return to Diamondbacks’ camp - Calhoun posted back-to-back negative test results and cleared the protocols put in place by Major League Baseball, but after alternating between positive and negative results on multiple occasions over the past two weeks he is wondering what his next test will say. “I can’t say that there’s not (nervousness),” he said. “Especially with being positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, negative. One of the things I asked the doctor, ‘Why is that happening?’ He said at the end of an infection they’re finding some people who still show up positive. It’s a matter of the sample that they get and did the virus attach itself to those cells.”

[Arizona Sports] Archie Bradley: D-backs’ responsibility is to be ‘shining light’ for Arizona
- “With everything that’s gone on, the social injustice, the testing, the corona, everything that’s happening, let the Diamondbacks, let baseball be the thing that brings us all together,” he said. “We have a huge amount of responsibility and accountability on top of us to hold each other accountable, to not go out, to not put ourselves in situations where we could contract the virus and to hold true to our goal of staying together. Hazen said it best, man: 60 games, 100 games, whatever it is, we’re going to take that trophy, we’re going to go win it and we aren’t going to feel bad we only played 60 games to be World Series champs.”

[] Q&A: Jake Lamb on hot bat, the DH, new dog - I think everyone going in knew it was going to be a lot different, that it was going to be a different year as a whole. As far as what the Diamondbacks have done in terms of following the protocols — social distancing, wearing masks in the clubhouse, all of that — they’re doing an incredible job. But really, when it comes down to it, like when we started these scrimmages this week, it’s been so much fun. Just to be back out on the field, playing baseball. It’s a little weird facing your own guys on the mound, but we’ve been stuck in our houses for the most part for these last bunch of months, and now that we’re back on the field, man, it’s just so much fun.

[The Athletic] ‘Everything’s changed’: Should Daulton Varsho develop in the majors? - The satellite roster will be composed of 30 players when the season starts, jumping to 34 when roster sizes in the majors are cut down come September. Those players cannot train with the big-league roster and cannot play against satellite rosters from other organizations. They can only scrimmage against themselves. That means catching the same pitchers over and over and over as they face the same hitters just as many times. But there’s an opportunity for growth there, Vogt thinks. Getting a hitter out one time is a lot harder than getting him out the sixth and seventh time, the veteran catcher pointed out. “As hitters, we remember exactly how that particular pitcher pitched us the time before,” Vogt said. “There’s a lot of information for you to remember as a catcher.” What better way to practice game-calling?

[Arizona Sports] Ketel Marte aspires toward Gold Glove win, is happy with his game
- “I feel comfortable playing all across the field,” Marte said Friday through an interpreter. “I understand the injury history, but I’m very open to playing all the positions that my manager and everybody wants me to play. I feel comfortable moving around as much as I can, but the one thing that would keep me [to] playing one position is more so trying to win a Gold Glove. To be honest, I don’t really have a preference, I feel that any position that I can play a full season in I have a really good shot to win a Gold Glove whether in short, second or center field. But I feel very blessed to have Nick Ahmed there at shortstop. I think that the combination of [me] and Nick at shortstop and second base is one of the best combinations we have in the league.”

[Last Word ion Baseball] Carson Kelly: The Arizona Diamondbacks Are "Gonna Be in a Good Spot" - The shortened preparation for the season does not feel rushed to Kelly. “I feel that when everything got shut down, everybody was on the same page. (They were) getting their workouts in and being prepared, physically and mentally. So right when we started camp, I felt like we were in a pretty good spot. Over the last couple of days, you could see those little baseball things start to come back. (You could see) those instincts, those quicker decisions – those are starting to come along. I think we’re in a really good spot and going to have a good year.”

[Arizona Sports] Catcher Carson Kelly getting good feel for D-backs' Madison Bumgarner - It’s only been a few game-like situations since coronavirus shut down spring training in March, but Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly believes the choppy training camps haven’t gotten in the way of his developing relationship with starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner. “It’s been great. Every time we go out there, catch him, play catch, whatever it may be, I just feel like we strike up a conversation about, ‘Hey, will this help me?’ He’s always trying to learn,” Kelly told reporters on Zoom call Thursday. “He takes that mound and he’s a fierce competitor and has a plan, but he’s always trying to learn.”

And, elsewhere...

[ESPN] Giants’ Buster Posey opts out of 2020 MLB season, citing newborns’ health - The babies were born about eight weeks prematurely last Friday and Posey and his wife, Kristen, finalized the adoption on Thursday. Ada and Livvi are healthy but will need to spend time in neonatal intensive care and will have weakened immune systems for the next few months. “In the current state that we are right now and these babies being as fragile as they are for the next four months, at minimum, this ultimately wasn’t that difficult a decision for me,” Posey said. “From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I’m making a decision to protect our children, I think it was relatively easy.”

[Sports Illustrated] Will MLB’s Testing Plan Sink Its Season? - - The COVID-19 test program is one of the most crucial features of MLB’s return to play. It may also be the most complicated. Do you test every day, or every other day, or every third day? Will players be tested more often than, say, clubhouse staff and groundskeepers? Do you use saliva samples or nasal swabs? A group of local laboratories or a single centralized one? What’s the backup plan if something falls through? Is your top priority accuracy or speed? (Or the financial cost?) How must you consider the impact on national testing resources? There’s no one-size-fits-all program. But some answers here are better than others, and MLB’s choices, experts say, could leave room for trouble.

[The Ringer] What the MLB’s Foreign-Substance Crackdown Could Mean for Pitchers - As [Trevor] Bauer wrote in February in a piece for The Players’ Tribune about the Astros sign-stealing scandal, “For eight years I’ve been trying to figure out how to increase the spin on my fastball because I’d identified it way back then as such a massive advantage. I knew that if I could learn to increase it through training and technique, it would be huge. But eight years later, I haven’t found any other way except using foreign substances.” If we take him at his own word, then [his unprecedented] spike in September must have stemmed from those substances, which are banned by MLB.