Last night the Arizona Diamondbacks broadcast two hours of their intrasquad game. Watching live baseball for the first time since March was a needed distraction for me, as I had just learned earlier in the day that a family member had been hospitalized with COVID_19. I say that because there is literally nothing I or anyone else can do, and dwelling in negative thoughts benefits nobody. Ketel Marte hit two no doubt home runs from the left side of the plate. Levi Kelly, the D’backs 8th round draft pick out of IMG Academy in 2018, was downright dominating. He struck out four of the six batters he faced with relative ease. Eduardo Escobar has been strutting around camp saying “Proud of you!” and “Congratulations!” repeatedly, so Torey Lovullo was coaching in a shirt with the catchphrases printed on them. Any way you look at it, it was fun to watch.
[AZ Central] Ketel Marte, Robbie Ray among early standouts at D-Backs camp - Following a 3 1/2-month shutdown, no one with the Diamondbacks knew quite what to expect from players when camp reopened 10 days ago. By all accounts, the club could not be happier with what it has seen. So many have stood out at the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field camp as they ramp up for their July 24 opener that highlighting a handful of them is challenging. But here is a quick rundown of those who have opened eyes, for a variety of reasons, during workouts and intersquad games.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs 1B Christian Walker day-to-day with right groin strain - Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker is day-to-day with a right groin strain, manager Torey Lovullo said Monday. “Obviously, gotta get him back at full strength,” he said. Walker injured himself on Sunday when he made a diving play on a line drive hit by D-backs catcher Carson Kelly during an intrasquad game. Lovullo said he is not concerned about Walker’s status and expects him to not miss any regular season time. Walker did have an MRI. Arizona’s season opener is on July 24, 12 days from the time Walker was injured.
[The Rattle] A History of the D-backs’ Best and Worst 60-Game Spans - The short season is going to be wacky, but it’s also not going to allow teams to sneak in completely undeserving. In almost all cases, it took a strong full season to consistently have 60-game streaks that would make the playoffs. The 2020 D-backs will still have to outperform expectations, but from where they stand, it’s not hard to imagine a little bit of luck blowing them in. If this year is like the last few, it may very well come down to the final series, meaning small errors and blown leads matter more than ever. The season may not be long enough to guarantee that the best teams make the playoffs, but it should be thrilling from start to finish.
[D’backs.com] Pandemic personal for D-backs lefty Young - As he battles for the final spot in the D-backs rotation in Phoenix, Alex Young’s longtime girlfriend, Nicole Griffin, faces bigger challenges as a frontline healthcare worker at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. “That’s the one downside of being out here and her still being out in Texas, because right now she doesn’t have that support,” Young said. “She has her friends, but I want to be there for her.”
Around the League
[ESPN] ‘If not now, when?’: Black MLB players past and present on what needs to change - Jason Heyward, MLB outfielder 2010 to present: ”Recently, I’ve had to dig into my [minor league] experiences and share them with people. I played for the Atlanta Braves. I was drafted by my hometown team. Long story short, hometown team, drafted in the first round, and playing for the Rome Braves in Savannah, Georgia — against the Mets, that was their minor league affiliate at the time — and I was talking to Freddie Freeman after the game, and he had tears in his eyes. [He said], ‘Jay, did you hear the stuff people were saying to you?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I heard it, bro.’ And he replied, ‘I’ve never seen that before.’ “And I’m talking about that I was playing for my hometown team in my own home state of Georgia, and we still have people yelling racial slurs, saying all the things that you can think of out there.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Red Sox Interested In Zack Godley - The Red Sox are one of multiple teams showing interest in free-agent right-hander Zack Godley, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. Godley hit the market when the Tigers released him Monday. It’s no surprise that the Red Sox are seeking pitching help, considering the issues facing their staff. The team’s rotation won’t have ace Chris Sale, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, while de facto No. 1 starter Eduardo Rodriguez is questionable for Opening Day as a result of a positive COVID-19 test. At the moment, then, the club is perilously low on proven starters after Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez, who each come with plenty of question marks in their own right.
[NBC Sports] Nationals’ Daniel Hudson isn’t sure a 60-game MLB season can determine the best team - The 2020 MLB season is going to be different in nearly every way. So much so that Nationals reliever and reigning last-out-of-the-World-Series getter Daniel Hudson still isn’t sure how he’s going to feel about how this year’s champion will stack up when compared to those of full 162-game seasons. “Obviously, it’s not going to feel the same,” Hudson said in a Zoom press conference Monday. “Even if we don’t win it, whoever does win it—I’ve thought about that a lot like, how are we supposed to feel about that? It’s only 60 games, we’re playing 100 games less than we normally do and…what was the Nationals’ record through 60 games last year? I mean, they weren’t even close to the playoffs.”
[CBS Sports] Cardinals’ Jordan Hicks opts out of 2020 MLB season due to health concerns - The St. Louis Cardinals announced Monday that hard-throwing reliever Jordan Hicks is opting out of the 2020 MLB season due to health concerns. Hicks became the 13th player to publicly opt out of the season. Hicks, 23, has Type 1 diabetes and is also recovering from Tommy John surgery, a procedure he underwent in June of last year. He was expected to begin the 2020 season on the injured list. Hicks’ diabetes places him in the high-risk group regarding the novel coronavirus. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a junior in high school.