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Spring Training Gameday Thread, #18: 3/18 vs. Dodgers

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The return of the Ahmed...

Los Angeles Angels v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. David Peralta, LF
  2. Nick Ahmed, SS
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera, 1B
  4. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
  5. Stephen Vogt, C
  6. Josh Rojas, 2B
  7. Trayce Thompson, CF
  8. Pavin Smith, RF
  9. RHP Merrill Kelly, + RHP Carlos Navas, LHP Joe Mantiply, RHP Keury Mella

Yep, Ahmed is in the line-up... though after last time, you’ll understand I’m a little gun-shy until he actually takes the field. It’ll be his first Cactus League action since March 6, so he has missed slightly less than two weeks. He probably can’t afford to miss much more time, and still be game-ready for opening day, which is just two weeks away now.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Nick Ahmed is feeling great and eager to get after it today.
  • There was still no date for Kole Calhoun’s return, but he is ramping up.
  • Torey was non committal on the outfield race and acknowledged that the offense has been hot and cold and in a bit of a lull, but he’s less concerned about that. He stressed the “little things” and highlighted a play by Daulton Varsho “running down the right field line to knock down a ball and turning a potential double into a single”.
  • “We know that the offense is going to ebb and flow throughout the year. I’ve been very impressed with approaches” But it’s the defensive aspect that he’s been very focused on.
  • Dave McKay’s return still not set. He’s had good days and bad days, and has a follow up appointment with his Doctor tonight.
  • Torey still not ready to commit to naming a closer. Was impressed with Joakim Soria’s outing last night. He’s a veteran going through his spring process and getting dialed in. But it’s not impossible they will use some sort of committee or fireman approach in 2021. He did not rule that out.
  • The April schedule has 17 of 22 games on the road thru April 26th. What are the challenges and opportunities of that? It’s definitely a little bit of a challenge, but they’ve embraced and accepted it. They’ve emphasized adaptability and they feel this will prepare them for a tough and rugged NL West and a long season. “You’re going to find out quickly what we’re built on, I believe in these guys in that room and we’re going to find out quickly what direction we’re heading in.”
  • Regarding being on the road helping develop esprit de corps, bonding opportunity, etc, he gave an interesting response: “I think in a perfect season minus the COVID we would be able to do so many different things on the road and we’ve gotten really good at that for the first three years… But last year we hit the brakes on it because of the protocols. I think we’re still going to be challenged in that area.” He went on to say he’s asked the guys to work on ways to form a bit of team chemistry and bond and they’re working on it right now
  • In answering a question on bullpen competition, he dropped a “gameplan”. So everyone (who drinks) has to take a shot tonight after the game. :)
  • He did emphasize once again that the front office shapes the roster. Torey and the coaches have input and it’s listened to, but ultimately it’s the front office call how bullpen and roster are constructed.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]

Game coverage

I believe this is a webcast on dbacks.com. But since the site is currently giving a security warning, because the certificate doesn’t cover dbacks.com. I can’t be sure... :) Try https://mlb.com/dbacks as an alternative.