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Snake Bytes: 03/29 - Dislodging the D-Backs

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Despite a good start from Merrill Kelly, the D-Backs dug themselves deep into the mud again. This time by courtesy of Stefan Crichton.

News: Container Ship Stuck In Suez Canal Maxar Technologies-USA TODAY NETWORK

Diamondbacks News

[Arizona Sports] Merrill Kelly closes out solid spring as Diamondbacks fall to White Sox

“The way my stuff looked, the way it was coming out, definitely the best I’ve felt all spring,” he said.

[AZ Central] Taylor Widener’s move to rotation highlights Diamondbacks’ roster changes

Widener got the edge over right-hander Taylor Clarke, both of whom posted good results in Cactus League play. Clarke will instead open in the bullpen.

[dbacks.com] Ahmed (knee) expected to be set for opener

“We are anticipating a healthy Nick Ahmed on Opening Day,” Lovullo said.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs make 4 roster moves, option RHP Jon Duplantier to Triple-A Reno

RHP Jon Duplantier was optioned to Triple-A Reno. Three more players were assigned to minor league camp in OF Trayce Thompson, LHP Joe Mantiply and RHP Anthony Swarzak.

[dbacks.com] Depth will be tested early for D-backs

A minor ST round-up from Steve Gilbert.

[Arizona Sports] A look at what’s new at Chase Field ahead of D-backs’ 2021 home opener

Clear bags, lockers, contactless lines, a cashless Chase Field, gates will now open 30 minutes later, signage in and around the stadium, and stadium food!

Around The MLB

[MLB Trade Rumors] Jazz Chisholm To Open Season As Marlins’ Second Baseman

Chisholm won the starting job at 2B in Miami.

Across The Pacific

[Japan] Hawks aim for 5th straight Japan title as season kicks off

The Hawks, the defending Pacific League champs, have won six of Japan’s last seven championships, but this year may not have the PL’s most potent starting pitching. On paper, the Rakuten Eagles appear to have Japan’s best pitching rotation with the return of former ace Masahiro Tanaka and the addition of rookie lefty Takahisa Hayakawa.

NPB started last weekend the first games of a 143 game schedule, including interleague play. Both leagues will have their play-off series unlike last year.

[Japan] High school team with Korean roots debuts in Japan’s baseball tournament

A Kyoto-based high school that was formerly a South Korean educational institution made its debut Wednesday in Japan’s national baseball tournament, becoming the first originally foreign school to do so.

The Kyoto International High School’s baseball club also made headlines for its school song played at its first game that day. The song had controversial lyrics, alluding to a dispute between Japan and South Korea over the naming of the Sea of Japan.

“It was a nerve-wracking game, but well played,” said Kim An Il, vice chairman of the school’s operator. “I believe it became an opportunity for the people of Japan to learn about South Korea.”

[Japan] Prevention measures utilizing digital tech introduced at Tokyo Dome

The Yomiuri Giants and Tokyo Dome have introduced measures utilizing digital technology aimed at mitigating the so-called 3Cs — closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings — while securing a clean and safe environment at the stadium and providing comfortable services for spectators: admission control recognition with masks and glasses on, pay by QR code, abolishing ticket collectors and more restrooms for women.

[South Korea] Choo Shin-soo named to S. Korean provisional baseball roster for Tokyo Olympics

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced a 154-man preliminary squad, which will be whittled down to 24 for the final roster in June. The Tokyo Olympics, postponed by a year from 2020 due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic, will run from July 23 to Aug. 8 this year.

Only 40-man roster players not in the majors are allowed to play at the Olympics. The KBO did include Choi Ji-man of the Tampa Bay Rays, Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres, Yang Hyeon-jong of the Texas Rangers and Park Hoy-jun of the New York Yankees in their preliminary list, just in case.

[Laos] Laos gets first-ever baseball field, players helped build it

“We are happy that we do not have to rent a soccer field anymore”.

There are currently three teams active in Laos: Lao J Brothers, Miracle (National University of Lao) and Vientiane High School. The three teams develop both men’s and women’s baseball and have 150 players registered.