There were some good takeaways from last night’s game against the Mariners. Christian Walker recorded two hits, including a double. Merrill Kelly allowed only one run in 4.2 innings. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, that was about it. On the other side of the performance spectrum, Joakim Soria continued to suck out loud, allowing two hits and an earned run in a 14-pitch outing, inflating his spring ERA to over 12.
If this is a preview of things to come for Kelly, the Diamondbacks might just get more out of him than they had any right hoping for in 2021. While not dominant, Kelly managed to keep Seattle off balance, surrendering only one run on five hits and two walks through 4.2 innings. Of Arizona’s expected rotation, Kelly now looks the most ready for the season to begin.
As already detailed here yesterday, Diamondbacks ace, Zac Gallen will miss some time while he recovers from a hairline stress fracture of his right lateral forearm at the radial head, an injury suffered while taking batting practice almost two weeks ago.
About a dozen players and coaches from the Diamondbacks spent the day volunteering at a COVID-19 vaccination facility, earning themselves their own vaccination.
Didn’t Prince sing a song about this? This is what it sounds like, when the doves die? Twenty years ago today, a dove committed suicide when it decided to try flying between Randy Johnson and Calvin Murray after left-handed nobody hitter Edwards Guzmán hit a 320-foot ground rule double off of Johnson - and then pimped it. The incident would go on to become the inspiration for the logo of Johnson’s photography company.
Other Baseball News
As spring progresses, the news for the Blue Jays keeps getting worse. After an aggressive offseason which had many picking them to be playing some baseball in October, they have now lost their closer, Kirby Yates, to season-ending injury. This comes on top of minor injuries to George Springer and Robbie Ray. The Blue Jays are still hoping that both Springer and Ray will be available by Opening Day, but the lack of depth behind these injured players is already coming into focus.
Add The Ringer to the list of media outlets already declaring the birth of a rivalry in southern California between the Padres and the Dodgers. In this piece, Michael Baumann lists the most likely players from the rivalry to incite a bench-clearing brawl. That he was able to name 15 players and have every one of them sound like a reasonable candidate might just be saying something about the sort of players headed to SoCal, and also help give clarity to why they are so despised in Arizona.
While Arizona ranks seventh overall on this list, their position on the list, the prospects that put them there are not the high-impact sorts found on some teams above, nor are they particularly close top being MLB-ready. Expect this group of players to feature on future lists as time moves on.
During a 108-loss campaign, the Baltimore Orioles made a visit to the UK for a pair of games. During that brief visit, Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander, developed himself an almost instant cult following, leaving him as one of the biggest names in MLB across the Pond.
MLB has issued a memo detailing plans and some of the procedures which the Commissioner’s Office is going to rely on in order to crack down on pitchers using foreign substances on game balls. Among other aggressive measures, MLB will be evaluating statcast data to look for suspicious results in order to identify pitchers and balls to evaluate.
For at least one more season, Mike Trout remains king of the hill. Trout’s 2020 performance was the worst of his career since his cup of coffeee professional debut. His long history of excellence was enough to stave off competition from the likes of some of baseball’s newer rising stars, such as Betts.
ESPN MLB experts Bradford Doolittle, Buster Olney and David Schoenfield weigh in on what caught their attention about this season’s list of top-100 players.