[The Athletic] ‘I wanted to retire’: Starling Marte speaks about his wife’s unexpected death - “My first thought was I wanted to retire and didn’t want to play any more baseball,” Marte said. “I thought my process would lead me toward that. But the more conversations I had with pastors back home and friends back home, the more I felt supported, especially by my kids. I felt supported to come back to the game and rely on them.” Marte has four children ranging from ages 10 to 1. He said Noelia’s death has been hardest on the 10-year-old, his son Smerling. But he also said his children have been a source of strength for him. “But through this entire process, they’ve been very, very strong and very, very helpful,” he said. The fortitude Marte has shown so far has impressed many with the Diamondbacks, including manager Torey Lovullo. “He’s a very strong man, I can say that,” Lovullo said. “I don’t know how he’s doing it, I don’t know how he did it, but he seems to be functioning every day at a very high level when it comes to his profession.”
[AZ Central] Ketel Marte has Gold Glove on his mind entering 2020 - Ketel Marte is slated to be the Diamondbacks’ starting second baseman, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get occasional starts in center field or at shortstop. Marte seems to be fine with this, but the bouncing around does have at least one potential downside. “I want to get out there and have a chance to win a Gold Glove,” Marte said during a conference call on Friday afternoon. “I’m very open to playing all the positions that the manager and everyone wants me to play. I feel comfortable moving around as much as I can. The one thing that would keep me playing one position is trying to win a Gold Glove.” Marte is right in believing he would have an easier path to a Gold Glove at one position. Utility players don’t win the award, no matter how deserving. Some advanced metrics were high on Marte’s play in center field last year, but he did not even manage to rate among National League Gold Glove finalists at the position, likely in part because he played only 96 games there.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Latest On Diamondbacks, COVID-19 - The Diamondbacks have been among the teams who have been most impacted by COVID-19 cases, with multiple players testing positive over the last few weeks. That list added another name today, as manager Torey Lovullo told reporters that another player on the D’Backs 40-man roster has tested positive. It remains to be seen if that player’s identity will become public knowledge, given the league policies against revealing COVID-19 cases unless the player gives his consent. We have already learned that Silvino Bracho, Seth Beer, Junior Guerra, and Kole Calhoun are among the D’Backs players who tested positive, and the good news is that the latter three players have since tested negative and are at Summer Camp.
[D’backs.com] Vargas rakes, Lovullo looks closely - The D-backs played 5 1/2 innings of an intrasquad game Saturday night at Chase Field. Ildemaro Vargas hit a pair of homers and drove in six runs while right-hander Zac Gallen allowed one run over four innings. What do those numbers mean when it comes to the D-backs making decisions as to who will be on Arizona’s initial 30-man active roster come Opening Day? Not much. Instead, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, his coaching staff and the baseball operations department are looking at other things. “I think what I’m looking for is an ease and a patient approach to the game,” Lovullo said. “Everybody knows when you make rushed decisions, whether you move too quickly on the mound or in the box or defensively, that you’re going to make mistakes. It’s the tempo of your body and the rhythm of your hands. Whatever your function is, whatever that rhythm is — the rhythm of your delivery or the rhythm of your hands when you’re hitting and fielding, those are things I’m really zoning in on.”
[Arizona Sports] Suns’ Williams, D-backs’ Lovullo traded notes on return strategies - There’s no fault in not knowing what you’re doing when it’s never been done before. That’s what professional sports teams across the world are experiencing as their respective leagues return during the COVID-19 pandemic in different situations, whether it’s in a bubble, altered schedule, etc. In order to prepare for how to prepare his own team, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo made a wise move and used some resources available to him that most don’t have. “I had a chance to talk to (Phoenix Suns head coach) Monty (Williams) and (Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick) [Tocchet],” he said Friday. “We were able to compare some notes and talk shop a little bit about what some of the challenges were going to be and some of the things that they were finding success with. Thrilled that they’re getting back in the saddle.”
Around the League
[Yahoo Sports] Astros’ canceled workout, Royals’ positive test further illustrate uphill battle MLB faces amid pandemic - The weekend is getting off to a rough start for Major League Baseball. In the span of two hours, the Houston Astros canceled a full day’s worth of workouts after a staff member reported potential exposure to someone who is COVID-19 positive and the Kansas City Royals announced that catcher Cam Gallagher had tested positive after participating in Friday night’s instrasquad game at Kauffman Stadium. These latest developments further illustrate the uphill — perhaps even impossible — battle MLB is facing in hopes of completing a 60-game season.
[ESPN] White Sox pitching coach concerned about Michael Kopech - Chicago White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper says he is concerned about right-hander Michael Kopech, who recently opted out of the upcoming 2020 season. Kopech, 24, missed the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery but was expected to contend for a spot in Chicago’s rotation this year. He has publicly discussed his anxiety and depression, which Cooper cited Saturday in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know what is going on with Michael, but I know he deals with some anxiety and depression, and my thought is, I sure hope he’s OK,” Cooper told the Sun-Times. “And I hope he gets to where he needs to be, where he’s feeling good and wants to come back, because we will welcome him back with open arms.”
[MLB Trade Rumors] Aroldis Chapman Tests Positive For COVID-19 - The Yankees announced today that left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for COVID-19, showing mild symptoms. Needless to say, Chapman will be away from the team and won’t be allowed to participate in team workouts for the foreseeable future. He’ll need to test negative twice before he’s allowed to rejoin the Yankees. Chapman’s positive test occurred after he passed the Yankees’ initial intake process and began team workouts, meaning that he had trained with the team at Yankee Stadium prior to testing positive. The Yankees conducted contract tracing after learning of Chapman’s results on Thursday, with James Wagner of The New York Times reporting that the process revealed no further positive tests.