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Preview #46: 9/11, Diamondbacks vs. Mariners

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Mr. Smith goes to Arizona...

Miami Marlins Summer Workouts Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

MARINERS DIAMONDBACKS
Dylan Moore - LF Tim Locastro - CF
Ty France - 2B Josh Rojas - LF
Kyle Lewis - CF Christian Walker - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Evan White - 1B Kole Calhoun - RF
Luis Torrens - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Jose Marmolejos - DH Wyatt Mathisen - 3B
Phillip Ervin - RF Stephen Vogt - C
Dee Strange-Gordon - SS Carson Kelly - DH
Yusei Kikuchi - LHP Caleb Smith - LHP

Games until the blessed end of the season: 15

That said, there’s always some reason to watch Diamondbacks’ baseball, if you look hard enough [and of late, that would be really, REALLY hard...] Tonight, that would be the debut for Arizona of left-handed starting pitcher Caleb Smith. He was traded to us from the Marlins, in the Starling Marte trade at the deadline, but he had been taken out of active play by becoming part of the Miami outbreak of COVID-19, which led to no fewer than 17 Marlins testing positive for the disease. The 29-year-old is in his fourth season in the majors, having previously posted a 4.64 ERA over 252.1 innings of work. But he has only appeared once this year, allowing one run over three innings.

The final few games promise to be an audition for starting jobs in 2021. The team will have some vacancies to fill, with Robbie Ray gone, and Merrill Kelly’s option looking increasingly dodgy. Right now, next year’s rotation would be Madison Bumgarner, Zac Gallen and... Well, then fill the rest of the spots out with your picks from Luke Weaver, Taylor Clarke, Alex Young, Smith, Corbin Martin and whoever else turns up to spring training. So, show us what you’ve got, Mr. Smith. With our rotation having mustered just six wins in the first 45 starts of the season - Stefan Crichton leads all our active pitchers with... two W’s - it won’t take much to be considered an improvement.

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

Kevin Ginkel: Lengthy 5-minute discussion about the reasoning behind sending Kevin down and also why the seeming disconnect between this action and Torey’s comments a few days ago. Torey said his fastball command has been off, and he’s not getting swing and miss with his slider and they feel he’ll be better able to work things out at the alternate site rather than in MLB games.

His comments to Kevin were: “We aren’t here to just pacify and allow you to kind of feel your way around, we want you to be great again. We feel like this is the biggest thing we can do is challenge you in this area and let you go down there and work without the pressure of having to perform”

He has to be careful what he says as the players all tune in to his comments and read what he writes. So sometimes he’s trying to give them confidence without undercutting them publicly. (My words, not exactly his). Suggest listening to the discussion for greater clarity.

Pavin Smith: With lefties starting each of today and tomorrow he felt the matchup was better tomorrow. It has to do with swing plane data and GB/FB tendencies, but I couldn’t identify a clear trend. He will start tomorrow it sounds like.

Josh VanMeter likely to play mostly 2b while Ketel is on IL.