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Preview #56: 9/23 vs. Rangers

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If last night’s win felt uncommon, that’s because it was.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Leody Taveras - CF Tim Locastro - LF
Nick Solak - 2B Ketel Marte - DH
Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 3B Christian Walker - 1B
Joey Gallo - RF Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Sam Huff - C Kole Calhoun - RF
Willie Calhoun - DH Nick Ahmed - SS
Anderson Tejeda - SS Carson Kelly - C
Sherten Apostel - 1B Daulton Varsho - CF
Eli White - LF Wyatt Mathisen - 3B
Wes Benjamin - LHP Alex Young - LHP

Yesterday’s 7-0 thumping of Texas was just Arizona’ fourth blowout (5+ run margin) victory of the year, and their first in over a month. The last time they had such an emphatic win was on August 18, when they beat Oakland 10-1, in the final contest before everything went to hell in a hand-basket. The other blowouts were 13-7 in Colorado (August 12) and 14-7 over Houston (August 5). However, what’s odd is that, despite the D-backs general suckiness this season, they have only lost four blowouts as well. So overall, the team has a 4-4 record, and has outscored its opponents 51-47, across those eight games with large margins.

Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum, Arizona hasn’t done too badly either. In games decided by one run, the D-backs have a decent 9-9 record; and that’s despite still apparently coming to grips with the whole “runner on second base” thing, and having yet to win an extra-inning game (they are 0-3 there). It has been the games in the middle, with moderate margins of 2-4 runs, where the D-backs have been absolutely terrible. Their record in those is 8-21, and they have been outscored by 45 runs. I’m not really sure what, if anything, that says about the team.

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

Daulton Varsho: 10 full minutes of conversation about Daulton’s season and development. A few highlights below, but anyone interested in this player should probably listen to the full clip.

  • Missing AAA season and having to come straight into the MLB has made the transition more difficult. (Not just for DV, but other young players as well).
  • “In Daulton’s case it’s been a crash course in certain places, certain situations the game planning behind the plate, the catching, receiving, we’ve watched improve. He’s been getting some amazing looks in CF, we’ve watched his reads and breaks improve game by game.
  • The at-bats, even though the average doesn’t show the way we want it to, I think he’s in control of the zone”
  • A lot of discussion about his long-term position. They’re still trying to evaluate. Torey acknowledged that they might have pushed him out to CF a little early. They’re still not close to a final decision and still seem to see a utility role going forward.
  • I pressed him on the need to pick a spot for DV to assist him in his development on both sides of the ball. But Torey indicated that he’s still likely to need to play multiple positions to help the MLB club.
  • The young players are aware that some of them may go back to AAA next year despite extended call ups this year.

Eduardo Escobar: He put too much of the team’s failures on himself. His message to him is there are 8 staff members and 28 players and it’s not all one guy. He mentioned Escobar was trying to pull the ball too much and making early swing decisions based on desire to pull. Torey was asked by Nick Piecoro if Escobar coming back to Summer Camp clearly overweight and not in top physical condition, did they notice this, was it a concern, and would you like to see him trim back down. “Yes it was a concern, and yes it was addressed, and yes I’d like to see it addressed.”

Asked how it affected him: “Just some rotational mobility in the core area, baseball is a big core game, you are constantly spinning and bending. We’ve seen it improve, but I think it can be better.”