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Snake Bytes 3/7: Limited

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Limited fans. Limited innings for pitchers.

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

Arizona Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] ‘Good things to build on’ in Gallen’s 2nd start - Zac Gallen is his own toughest critic, but even the right-hander had to agree that he pitched well on Saturday in a 7-6 loss to the Rangers at Salt River Fields. Gallen, making his second start of the spring, allowed one hit and a walk while striking out three over three scoreless innings. He threw 46 pitches, 31 for strikes. “I felt a lot better than then the previous outing,” Gallen said. “Felt under control, felt like I had command of all four or five pitches. Still just knocking the rust off though, but good things to build on.”

[Arizona Sports] Zac Gallen throws 3 scoreless innings in D-backs’ loss to Rangers - “I thought his stuff looked very crisp, very sharp,” manager Torey Lovullo said via Zoom postgame. “He gives us three scoreless and he was executing pitches all the way up until the final one that he threw. “So we continue to build on that and increase the pitches for his next outing he’s exactly where he should be. It was a very clean, solid outing from Zac. Gallen was replaced by Riley Smith in the fourth inning, who then gave up three runs to the Rangers over two innings.

[AZ Central] Trayce Thompson in ‘better place’ as he vies for Diamondbacks roster spot - Five years ago, [Trayce] Thompson looked like a burgeoning major league talent. He had emerged with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a productive hitter in a crowded outfield. He appeared to be on a path toward stardom, similar to that of his older brother, Klay, a shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors. But a back injury ended his season and, as it turned out, altered the trajectory of his career. After a string of unproductive seasons splits between Triple-A and the majors, Thompson found himself looking for work. It was January 2020. Interest in his services had been sparse. He took batting practice in front of a Diamondbacks hitting coach when a thought crossed his mind. “Coming from where I was a few years ago prior in LA, hitting in the middle of the lineup as a 25-year-old, I thought this is just crazy how quick things can turn,” Thompson said. “I’ve just learned to appreciate where I’m at and work for the day and not think too far ahead.”

[D’backs.com] Changes in routine paying off so far for Rojas - Josh Rojas got to the point where he’d had enough. After a poor Spring Training in 2020 followed up by a .180 average during the 60-game regular season, the D-backs infielder/outfielder knew something had to change. Well, more than one thing. “I changed a lot of things,” Rojas said. “I changed my diet. I changed my sleep habits. I changed how hard I was lifting. I also started swinging a lot earlier. I started working with [D-backs hitting coaches] probably at the beginning of January — a little bit in December but really picked it up in January. So instead of coming in for Spring Training like [it] used to happen, making those adjustments while playing games, now I can actually work on at-bats and fine-tune those things instead of making big tweaks while playing other competition.”

Around the League

[MLB Trade Rumors] Astros’ Forrest Whitley Suffering From Right UCL Sprain - Astros pitching prospect Forrest Whitley has been advised to undergo Tommy John surgery, according to Mark Berman of KRIV Fox 26 (Twitter link). Whitley has been battling arm soreness that has now been diagnosed as a right UCL sprain, the team told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) and other reporters. No decision has yet been made about Whitley’s next step, as the right-hander is seeking a second opinion. A 14-15 month layoff for TJ rehab would be the biggest setback yet in a career that has been hampered by injuries. Whitley also had an forearm problem last season that led to an early shutdown at the Astros’ alternate training site, and he has been sidelined with shoulder and oblique injuries in past years. Beyond just health woes, Whitley was also issued a 50-game drug suspension in 2018. Despite all of these issues, Whitley’s potential is still so highly regarded that he has continued to remain a fixture on top-100 prospect lists over the last four years. Selected with the 17th overall pick of the 2016 draft, Whitley is still only 23 years old, as the Astros took the San Antonio native as a high schooler.

[Telegraph Herald] MLB spring training roundup: Miller shines, Cubs beat Brewers - Shelby Miller struck out three in a two-inning start for Chicago and Joc Pederson hit his second homer of the spring as the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-1, in seven innings on Saturday in Phoenix. Brett Anderson walked one and struck out two in the one-inning start for Milwaukee and Josh Lindblom followed with two solid innings of relief, striking out three and allowing one hit.

[MLB.com] Rutschman humbled by high expectations - “Whenever people ask me when I think I should debut, what my timeline is or what I think it should be, for me it’s always going to be the same — I’m going to control what I can control,” said Rutschman, the No.2 overall prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline. “I’d like to think I can compete at any level because of who I am. I’d like to think I’m a competitive person and can do those things. But I don’t really know what my timeline looks like.” Asked about his goals this spring, Rutschman said “I’m just here to play baseball and get better every day.” To that end, the Orioles are providing him more bandwidth than ever before in terms of in-game reps. The bulk have come at designated hitter, though the O’s have also found spots for to get his feet wet defensively.

[Forbes] Major Sports Leagues Lost Jaw-Dropping Amount Of Money In 2020 - Even with the return of the NHL and NBA in their respective “bubbles,” MLB’s shortened season and months of mostly fan-free NFL Sundays, the revenue losses for the NCAA and the four major U.S. sports leagues have now hit at least $14.1 billion so far, according to Forbes estimates. Even the value of sports teams, one of the most reliable long-term investments for billionaires, began to creak from the strain. NHL franchise values fell 2% on average, according to a Forbes analysis published in December, the first drop in two decades. NBA values rose just 4% on average, the smallest increase since 2010.

[ESPN] California to allow limited return of fans to MLB parks, other outdoor sporting events - California on Friday lifted some coronavirus restrictions on outdoor sports and entertainment venues, clearing the way for fans to attend games on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day and for theme parks like Disneyland to reopen for the first time in more than a year. The rules, announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, take effect April 1, but they apply only to people living in California. Baseball teams, event organizers and theme parks are not allowed to sell tickets to anyone living out of state as public health officials try to limit mixing while continuing to roll out coronavirus vaccinations. The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A’s all announced they will have fans in the stands for Opening Day on April 1. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants both start their seasons on the road and said they would announce their plans later.