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Preview #21: 8/15, Diamondbacks vs. Padres

Alex Young moves to the rotation for his first start of the year

Arizona Diamondbacks v. New York Mets Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Tommy Pham - LF Kole Calhoun - RF
Manny Machado - 3B Ketel Marte - 2B
Fernando Tatis - DH Starling Marte - CF
Eric Hosmer - 1B David Peralta - LF
Wil Myers - RF Christian Walker - 1B
Jurickson Profar - 2B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Jake Cronenworth - SS Carson Kelly - C
Francisco Mejia - C Daulton Varsho - DH
Trent Grisham - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Cal Quantrill - RHP Alex Young - LHP

This season, Young has made seven appearances out of the bullpen for Arizona in relief, most of them for more than one inning. In total, he has worked 9.2 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks, with ten strikeouts. His problem has been the long-ball, giving up three of those. He did start 15 times last year for the D-backs, as well as two bullpen outings, and had a 3.56 ERA, though FIP thinks that was lucky, tagging Young at a 4.81 figure. Admittedly, that still should be an improvement over the four starts which Madison Bumgarner gave the team, in what has to be among the least auspicious beginnings to a career ever for a free-agent signing in Arizona.

You probably wouldn’t know it from this season, but the D-backs have won eight in a row at Chase Field against the Padres. That ties the club record set from July 25, 2002 through May 23, 2003. Last night, it was that old friend, late runs, which proved key. When Arizona has been scoring at all, they’ve been doing it late. Or rather, not early. Through the first three innings - so, sixty in total now, approaching seven complete games - the D-backs have scored only 13 runs, batting .171 with a .469 OPS over that time. They have yet to score a run AT ALL in the second inning, where they are batting .092 (6-for-65), with five singles and a double. If you’re going for a bathroom break, the bottom of the second might be the time.

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

  • Alex Young has a pitch count limit of 70-75 today.
  • Christian Walker is fine, no issues, and in lineup
  • Eduardo Escobar is back in the lineup. Had a good work day with Darnell Coles yesterday. Although results were not there yesterday in his 2 AB, the approach looked better.
  • Madison Bumgarner still feels fine. Will throw a 50 pitch simulated game on Monday. Torey would not indicate if that was part of a “progression” to get his pitch count back up before activating. Will see how he does on Monday and evaluate next steps after that. [It sounds to me like he misses at least one more start, but that’s speculation on my part.]
  • Stolen Bases against: Teams are 20 for 23 against the D-backs. Torey is acutely aware of this problem, and is not satisfied of course. It’s something he and the coaches have been focused on over the last three days. In the past they’ve limited attempts and thrown out close to 35% of the runners. It’s a combination of both throwing and how the pitchers have been holding guys on and being able to deliver pitches by changing tempo and rhythm.
  • Intentional Walks: D-backs have issued the most intentional walks in MLB. (8) 3 of them have scored. D-backs are typically in the upper quartile for most IBB issued, over the last 3+ seasons.
  • Andy Young’s throwing errors last night: He thinks he took the first one for granted thinking it would be an easy throw, and didn’t finish it. The second one he overcompensated and over threw and lost his alignment and footwork. He tried to use the conversation in the dugout as a teaching moment, encouraging him to let it go. Play fearless baseball, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.