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Preview #14: 8/7, Diamondbacks @ Padres

Hang on... Weren’t we just here?

MLB: Exhibition-Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - 2B Fernando Tatis - SS
Kole Calhoun - RF Trent Grisham - CF
Starling Marte - CF Manny Machado - 3B
Christian Walker - DH Tommy Pham - DH
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Jake Cronenworth - 1B
David Peralta - LF Wil Myers - RF
Stephen Vogt - C Abraham Almonte - LF
Jake Lamb - 1B Francisco Mejia - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Jurickson Profar - 2B
Luke Weaver - RHP Zach Davies - RHP

I looked at the standings this morning, for the first time this season. It’s all weird, because we have teams in the same division who have played five games (the Cardinals) or thirteen games (the Cubs). And few things are odder than the Marlins, the plague pit of the NL East, leading the division, having started with a 6-1 record. Admittedly, part of that is probably due to having a series against the World Series champion Nationals canceled, so they have only had to play the Orioles and Phillies. But in a 60-game (or, quite likely, fewer than that) season, it goes to show almost anything is possible. Even the 105-loss Marlins last year had a streak (May 17-July 26) where they want 29-31, which could well be a playoff spot this year.

The standings currently have the 2-3 Cardinals ahead of the 6-8 Giants, even though the latter have a better winning percentage. Go figure. But right now, the eighth-best team in the National League are the 4-5 Nationals. The good news is, Arizona are just a game back of Washington, with 47 games to play. The bad news? Everybody in the NL except for the Pirates are within one game of a playoff spot. That said, outside of the Marlins, the current eight teams are probably not far off being the eight teams you might have predicted. It’s the Dodgers, Padres and Rockies from the West, the Brewers and Cubs in the Central, and the Braves, Marlins and Nationals in the East. Still very much all to play for though.

Torey Lovullo pre-game

Jake Lamb in lineup: Although he said he was going to take away some of his playing time, he did also say that he would give him some opportunities to see what he could do. Lamb’s last start was a week ago on July 31st.

I asked if in addition to L/R platoon splits he considered Groundball/Flyball tendencies of pitchers and hitters track record vs those various types of pitchers. He said he did, but also mentioned Jake’s 2 for 9 with a homer line vs. Davies.

It should be noted that Davies is a sinkerballer and typically a groundball pitcher (although less so recently). It’s pretty clear from Lamb’s track record that groundball pitchers have given him a much harder time.

Reliever Deployment: Rondon was not available yesterday. He spoke to the challenges of figuring out the bullpen usage with more options than he’s used. It may sound counterintuitive perhaps. He also mentioned the need to make quicker decisions due to the short season. Alex Young is one guy that is potentially going to get more high leverage innings.

Short outings from starters: Mostly about execution and making pitches and he expects them to get better (and deeper) in coming weeks. It is notable however that the DBacks typically get a little more length out of their starters than the league average, and that continues to be the case so far this season. It’s double edged sword. Sometimes that extra length from starters results in too slow a hook as well perhaps.

Advanced Scouting: They will be more equipped this series than they were the first series as they’ve had more video looks at what they’re doing.