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Spring Training Gameday Thread, #10: 3/9 vs. Rockies

MLB: FEB 27 Spring Training - Angels at Rockies Photo by Will Powers/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Josh Rojas, LF
  2. Ketel Marte, DH
  3. Eduardo Escobar, 2B
  4. Christian Walker, 1B
  5. Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B
  6. Carson Kelly, C
  7. Daulton Varsho, CF
  8. Stuart Fairchild, RF
  9. Domingo Leyba, SS
    + RHP Luke Weaver, RHP Corbin Martin, RHP J.B. Bukauskas, LHP Ryan Buchter, RHP Stefan Crich-ton, RHP Tyler Clippard

Another day game being broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona, so expect productivity this afternoon to take a dip around the region. :) Interesting to see Escobar at second, and Varsho in center field. Maybe it’s just Marte being given a day as designated hitter. Or maybe it’s just Torey trolling us. Of course, with Tim Locastro still locked in a cupboard somewhere, doing push-ups, it’s all fluid. But neither Fairchild (.583 OPS) nor Trayce Thompson (.704, and sinking fast of late) have exactly set spring on fire. Insert usual warning about small sample sizes here, and how it’s more about approach than numbers.

That’s particularly the case this year with the mercy rule. Normally, about this point, I’d be looking at spring numbers and highlighting winners and losers. But with pitchers getting credits for three outs, whether they record them or not - and, conversely, batters making outs without stepping to the plate - the numbers this year are even more unreliable than normal. Still, Ketel Marte having gone 8-for-12 with four extra-base hits seems promising; Josh VanMeter’s 2-for-17 with seven strikeouts, and Andrew Young’s 1-for-12 with eight K’s, rather less so. Though Young does at least lead the team with five walks.

And speaking of Ketel...

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Ketel Marte’s approach at the plate has been good. He’s been applying 100% of the ideas that they threw at him. There are certain things and certain tendencies that we’ve talked about that will help drive his OBP up to a new level. On top of that, that selectivity is going to allow him to get behind the baseball and drive it more frequently
  • Despite giving up a couple of runs he was happy with Taylor Widener’s outing in a B game today. He said he was throwing an aggressive a low fastball and then following up with secondary stuff getting swing and miss. Torey said “anything is possible” when asked if Widener would be a starter or reliever to start the season. He repeated that he and the other starting pitcher candidates are being stretched out as starters in case they need a starter and they’ll figure out the pieces late in spring.
  • Jon Duplantier had an unbelievable slider/cutter going and had some easy successful innings.
  • Trayce Thompson needs to continue to show consistency that he’s given them over the past couple of spring trainings. He’s continued to grow over the last couple of years and he’s a special talent. Simplifying and getting consistent is the key.
  • Christian Walker is a great story of perseverance and hard work, but the one thing that stands out for Torey is that “he confronts his limitations legitimately, he understands them and then develops a plan on how to attack them.”
  • Nick Ahmed is getting treatment, will not be on the field today. Still day to day.
  • As for SS depth chart the first name that came up was Josh Rojas but Torey emphasized that they will continue to look at all of the potential guys before he makes his final decision who will be primary backup SS to Ahmed. Domingo Leyba is in there today. It didn’t sound like they’re eager to have Ketel Marte play a lot of SS, if Nick’s injury turns out to be more serious. They like having all these other options. They know what he can do, but for right now he wants to see the other players. Pressed if Geraldo Perdomo might be an option and how he’s looked, while Torey heaped praise on him, it sounds to me he was hesitant to say he’s major league ready, which is understandable.

Listen to the clip below and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]