Twins bench coach Mike Bell died Friday of cancer. He was 46. A highly respected member of one of baseball’s most decorated families, Bell joined the Twins’ staff as bench coach before the 2020 season following a 13-year tenure in the D-backs’ organization.
For Diamondbacks fans of a certain bent, the highlight of yesterday’s game was likely the seventh inning two-run homer Josh Rojas homer off of former Arizona pitcher, Braden Shipley.
The good news for fans of Madison Bumgarner and the Diamondbacks is that the crafty lefty managed to strike out seven, despite his now diminished velocity. The bad news is that he also walked three and allowed a first-inning home run. The walks were the first Bumgarner had allowed this spring, and all three came around to score. By the time Bumgarner came out after 5.1 innings, he had surrendered six earned runs in what was yet another disappointing outing from the arm that is being looked to as the cornerstone of the Arizona rotation.
The ballpark experience is going to be quite different at Chase Field in 2021. In addition to limited capacity in the early going, the ballpark will be cashless and paperless. Tickets will be digital. The concessions will take card or mobile payment, masks (no gators) will be required. Social distancing will be enforced.
Vaccinations may be available at the ballpark.
The new food has been unveiled and includes jazzed up tater tots, a new dog, and a new messy burger.
There were always going to be questions about how deep Arizona’s roster truly runs as the Diamondbacks make their way through the 2021 season.
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Interestingly, the Diamondbacks rate in the top third, despite the lack of certainty at the position.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was hoping Clayton Kershaw could complete five innings Friday in his final tuneup start before Opening Day. Instead, Kershaw recorded only 10 outs and was charged with eight earned runs.
His Cactus League ERA: 10.22
Rick Porcello was clearly not the same pitcher in 2020 as he was the year the BBWAA helped him to steal a CY Young Award from Justin Verlander. On the other hand, he was still one of the better pitchers in the NL, better than the best statistical pitcher on more than half the teams. Despite this, Porcello still remains unemployed, less than a week before the start of the season.
While I may not agree with Michael Baumann that the Twins and White Sox are the better rivalry in 2021, I will confess that I will likely enjoy watching that AL Central match-up a great deal more.
While the Colorado Rockies are staying positive, stating that Oberg’s return to action is still to be determined, the reality is that the dynamic Rockies reliever has almost certainly thrown his last professional pitch. The righty reliever was at Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale Thursday afternoon to have potentially fatal blood clots removed from his pitching elbow. This is Oberg’s fourth bout with blood clot complications.