|Mike Yastrzemski - RF||Kole Calhoun - RF|
|Alex Dickerson - LF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Starling Marte - CF|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||David Peralta - DH|
|Wilmer Flores - 2B||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Pablo Sandoval - DH||Eduardo Escobar - 3B|
|Brandon Crawford - SS||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Joey Bart - C||Stephen Vogt - C|
|Mauricio Dubon - CF||Jon Jay - LF|
|Trevor Cahill - RHP||Luke Weaver - RHP|
Rather than previewing, instead I want to look back at last night’s game, whee Zac Gallen set a new major-league record, becoming the first player to open his career with 22 consecutive starts allowing three or fewer earned runs. It’s quite the accomplishment for the young hurler, who now has a career ERA of 2.56. That’s very impressive. Indeed, in the wild-card era (so, since 1995), among the 374 pitchers to have thrown over a hundred innings through the end of their age 24 season, only Matt Harvey (2.39) had a lower ERA than Gallen. To this point, Zac has been better than Clayton Kershaw (2.79), Brandon Webb (2.84), Noah Syndergaard (2.89) and Stephen Strasburg (2.96).
Does this make him the second-best young pitcher of the last quarter century? I wouldn’t quite say that. For one thing, it’s a relatively small sample-size. By the end of the year, he’ll have played, at most, 27 games. Kershaw had made 149 starts; Felix Hernandez 172. That’s why they are the top two in bWAR, while Gallen is ranked 104th (though still between Ubaldo Jimenez and Johnny Cueto, so there are worse places to be). Fielding independent ERA (FIP) also suggests Gallen has over-performed. His FIP is 3.69, good, but only ranked 46th, so some regression may be due. Certainly, he will end up allowing more than three runs in a game eventually!
For your amusement, below, you’ll find a chart comparing Gallen to others who pitched for the D-backs, through the end of everyone’s age 24 seasons [including games played for other teams, where appropriate]
Young D-backs pitchers to age 24
Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo
- Stephen Vogt and Luke Weaver have been paired up frequently. “I know that it did go very well and I just want to see that continue. Luke’s in a very good spot right now”
- Christian Walker’s growth as a player and especially his defense discussed at length.
- Bigger Bench and DH creates challenges to getting guys enough reps and at bats.
- Jon Jay is a key veteran in helping teach and lead the younger players in how to prepare, and stay ready when their number is called.
- Tim Locastro is no longer considered an infielder, would only be used there in emergency situations.