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Preview #28: 8/22, Diamondbacks @ Giants

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Remember when we had won six in a row? That was fun...

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS GIANTS
Kole Calhoun - RF Mike Yastrzemski - RF
Ketel Marte - 2B Alex Dickerson - LF
Starling Marte - CF Donovan Solano - 2B
Christian Walker - 1B Brandon Belt - 1B
David Peralta - LF Evan Longoria - 3B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Wilmer Flores - DH
Nick Ahmed - SS Brandon Crawford - SS
Kevin Cron - DH Chadwick Tromp - C
Carson Kelly - C Steven Duggar - CF
Zac Gallen - RHP Tyler Anderson - LHP

We should perhaps have realized the potential for this to be a trap series. The Giants have produced an awful lot better in San Francisco than elsewhere so far. After 12 home games, they are averaging 6.4 runs per game, and their OPS is .861, which trails just the Rockies in the National League - and only just, by nine points. But elsewhere, they have averaged 3.8 runs over their 16 games, and have an OPS almost two hundred points less, at .665. [Still nothing compared to Colorado, whose splits are .870 vs. .581] That is, however, still a dozen points better than the Diamondbacks have hit on the road thus far. The three games of this road-trip has been no help: batting .200 as a team, with a .511 OPS.

Was going to talk about Zac Gallen for a bit, but there’s a whole bunch of interesting stuff from Jack with the pre-game audio to get through, so let’s crack on with that instead.

Hitting coach Darnell Coles

  • He is fully accountable for how the team is doing at the plate. It falls on him.
  • Main issues have been inconsistency in swinging at pitches in and out of the zone. (Note: DBacks have 4th highest overall swing % in MLB, 6th highest % of swinging at pitches outside the zone, and 2nd highest % of pitches swung at IN the zone. They just swing a lot. Here’s the plate discipline report).
  • Power outage is linked to not getting in good hitting position and setting the pitchers up by getting in the right position and allowing pitchers to dictate the at bat.
  • The prohibition against being able to view video in game has made things more difficult. But other teams have to deal with it. He does not view it as an advantage or disadvantage. But it does impact their ability to make adjustments in between at bats for sure.
  • Problems vs. Lefties: They haven’t seen that many this year, but that’s not an excuse.
  • VERY detailed answer at the very end regarding what exactly the hitting coaches actually do and what the process is each day to prepare and get ready for the games and how they go about trying to make adjustments. If you have any interest in this topic I encourage you to listen to his comments.
  • Majority of focus is trying to get 15 players on same page, to get united on approach and understand what Pitcher is trying to do. Day begins looking at video, then set schedule for early work. They have a plan for each individual guy as to what they are going to do on the field. Cage work, velocity machines, curveball machines. Then on field BP, they go through a 28 pitch routine and work through scenarios and executing game plans. Then hitters meeting, go over the pitcher, look at video, what not to swing at, where has pitcher allowed hitters to do damage, etc. Fine tune approach vs. each individual pitcher, including bullpen pitchers.

Kevin Cron

  • Gave some info about the differences with being at the alternate site. They get plenty of at bats, even in 5 inning games, as they can hit every inning or every other inning. But it’s hot and of course it’s not the same as being in a major league game.
  • He also mentioned the culture shock when you go from MLB team down to Salt River and the mental grind that can be sometimes. Honest take.

Torey Lovullo

  • Andrew Chafin drove back from San Francisco himself. They chose not to have him fly. They do not want anyone to fly commercial in any circumstance.
  • Robbie Ray is remaining in rotation. There have been no discussions about moving him to the bullpen.
  • They’ve finished cycling through off days for the regular starters

Luke Weaver

  • Luke Weaver spoke to the emotion and fire he showed last time, and while he won’t try to manufacture anything artificially he sounded like he is ready to be more himself and show more fire and emotion on the mound when warranted