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Preview #15: 8/8, Diamondbacks @ Padres

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We continue Jake Lamb Day. :)

Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS PADRES
Ketel Marte - 2B Fernando Tatis - SS
Kole Calhoun - DH Trent Grisham - CF
Starling Marte - CF Manny Machado - 3B
David Peralta - LF Tommy Pham - LF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Eric Hosmer - 1B
Stephen Vogt - C Wil Myers - RF
Jake Lamb - 1B Jake Cronenworth - 2B
Jon Jay - RF Austin Hedges - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Greg Garcia - DH
Merrill Kelly - RHP Chris Paddack - RHP

Yes, that’s Jake Lamb in the line-up again, even as his batting average sinks further, currently sitting at .048. This is the 15th game of the season. In the history of the D-backs, 230 players have had 20 or more plate appearances over the first 15 games. You will not be surprised to hear that 229 of them have hit better than .048. The bottom five, the ones who have all batted a buck or lower, is an interesting list, however:

  • #226: Karim Garcia, 1998, .100 (4-for-40)
  • #227: Steve Finley, 2001, .093 (4-for-43)
  • #228: Brent Brede, 1998, .088 (3-for-34)
  • #229: Quinton McCracken, 2003, .056 (1-for-18)
  • #230: Jake Lamb, 2020, .045 (1-for-21).

Lamb’s OPS of .262 is actually better than McCracken’s .198. That’s mostly due to Jake’s solitary hit having been a double. There are, however, a few other members of the 2020 Diamondbacks who find themselves towards the bottom of the list: Carson Kelly, Ildemaro Vargas (RIP) and Nick Ahmed are all hitting .172 or lower, and so find themselves ranked 210th, 219th and 223rd respectively.

The irony is that Jake Lamb also finds himself in the five at the other end. Over the first 15 games of the 2015 season, he went 12-for-29 for a .414 average, surpassed by only four players in franchise history. At the current rate, it would take him 168 games to amass a dozen hits... You might be surprised by the other four names. No Luis Gonzalez or Paul Goldschmidt, for example.

  • #1 Jeff DaVanon, 2006, .455 (15-for-33)
  • #2 Carlos Baerga, 2003, .444 (8-for-18)
  • #3 Tony Clark, 2005 .421 (8-for-19)
  • #4 Jay Bell, 2001, .419 (18-for-43)

Proof that over a small sample-size, just about anyone can hit just about anything...

Torey Lovullo pre-game audio

  • They learned from their approach last year with Zack Godley and learned from that and handled Luke Weaver differently.
  • Christian Walker is fine, has had minimal if any limitations with groin. Just getting him off his feet after two straight games, ahead of the Colorado series.
  • Carson Kelly is fine too, Torey just wanted to get an extra left-hand bat in the lineup and try to generate some offense.
  • Alex Young could be used in some more short high leverage roles going forward.
  • TL got a little testy when pressed by Nick Piecoro about how to square the sense of urgency with continuing to play a struggling player like Jake Lamb two days in a row. He’s hoping giving him two games in a row may help him get on track.
  • I followed that up by taking my cue from Jim’s article and presented the shift data against Lamb. Torey said that they are indeed talking to Jake about trying to use the whole field.
  • Torey gave a shout-out and congratulations to Chris Iannetta who retired today and spoke about how Chris helped him a lot in 2017.
  • He also congratulated Rick Tocchet on the Coyotes advancing in the NHL playoffs.