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Preview #37: 9/2, Diamondbacks @ Dodgers

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The race for a 2021 draft pick is on!

Oakland Athletics v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Kole Calhoun - RF Mookie Betts - RF
Ketel Marte - 2B Corey Seager - SS
Christian Walker - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
David Peralta - LF Max Muncy - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Chris Taylor - LF
Josh Rojas - DH Joc Pederson - DH
Nick Ahmed - SS Will Smith - C
Daulton Varsho - CF Edwin Rios - 3B
Carson Kelly - C Gavin Lux - 2B
Zac Gallen - RHP Walker Buehler - RHP

The Diamondbacks currently sit tied with the Kansas City Royals for the sixth pick in the 2021 draft. Here’s the standings in Tankapalooza 2020:

  1. Pirates 10-23
  2. Angels 12-24
    Red Sox
  3. Nationals 12-21
  4. Rangers 13-21
  5. D-backs 14-22

Man, the Nationals have just fallen apart, haven’t they? I’m wondering when the last time was that the reigning World Series champions finished in the bottom five the following season? My immediate instinct is 1998, after the Marlins held their massive fire-sale. The difference is, the Nationals appear to have been actively trying to win this year. And when was the last time any Red Sox team had a season W% as low as .333? That would be 1932, when Boston went 43-111 for a .279 win percentage. The Pirates, however, are still favorites to get the #1 overall pick, even if they have actually been playing better of late. Their 7-13 mark over the last twenty games is more than Boston have managed.

Pre-game audio from Daulton Varsho

  • Centerfield Catch at wall last night: “I kinda surprised myself a little bit….at the moment I was like did I really just do that”
  • Thoughts when first given opportunity to play CF last year in AA: He felt it allowed the team to put their best lineup out there, which was key. But also “Just being able to go out there and free my mind from catching and just go out there and be an athlete, I think that was one of the coolest things to do, and to now do it in the big leagues is even cooler and more special”

Prior to last year he did not play very much CF in college, mostly LF in his freshman year. He enjoys playing all positions but his heart is in catching.

  • Struggles at plate: Trying to overdo it and put too much pressure on himself. Inconsistent at bats a factor as well. The last time he had this inconsistent opportunity to hit was freshman year of college. He expects to get his timing down with more frequent AB.
  • Bunting For Base Hits: More likely to utilize in situations where he knows the pitcher a little bit.
  • Speaking with his Dad, Former Major Leaguer Gary Varsho: He speaks with his Dad almost every day, and got to talk with his Dad about the catch last night. Weirdest part of the season is his parents not being able to come to games.
  • Loves to watch Television: He recently enjoyed The Umbrella Academy and Yellowstone.

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

Daulton Varsho: Player development has talked about his athleticism, adaptability, aptitude, etc. “He’s been raised in a bat bag, has a very high baseball IQ” Still evaluating his arm strength and accuracy as an outfielder.

Getting Game Planned: He’s talking about not making adjustments within the at bat. Many sets of experienced eyes behind the scenes creating the game plans that are having a lot of success against the D-backs.

Further on in the interview I pressed him on whether it’s simply the players not making adjustments or whether the D-backs game plans being given to players were lacking as well. He wouldn’t really bite, but he did answer at length, emphasizing the over aggressiveness of the hitters. He certainly did not lay any responsibility at the feet of the analytics or coaching staffs. It’s all on the players from the way he presented it. Listen for it about 10 minutes into the audio for yourself to judge his response.

Robbie Ray: They never considered moving Ray to the pen prior to the last week or two before trading him.

Madison Bumgarner will start Saturday in San Francisco. Pitch count limit not yet finalized.

Caleb Smith is on the way to the Alternate site and is schedule to throw a 5 Inning, 65 pitch ramp up game at alternate site.