Arizona Diamondbacks News
[D’backs.com] D-backs Minor League Spring Training report - Given the chaotic nature of 2020, there were some unknowns prior to camps opening, but everything got off to a strong start in Arizona as the overwhelming majority of players showed up in shape and ready to go. Josh Barfield, the D-backs’ director of player development, noted that several players, including Blaze Alexander and Jake McCarthy, added muscle to their frames as well. But perhaps some of the biggest developments are taking place on the mound. “Pitching-wise, all the guys that have come back are looking really, really good,” Barfield said. “The guys that didn’t come out last year at the alternate training site were throwing ‘pens and finding live simulated games to throw in. So, for the most part, everyone has come back where they were and, in some cases, have even surpassed where they were.”
Around the League
[Reuters] MLB upholds Nicholas Castellanos’ two-game suspension - Major League Baseball has upheld the two-game suspension it meted out to Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, The Athletic reported Monday. Castellanos begins serving the suspension Tuesday when the Reds play the Arizona Diamondbacks. The incident occurred in an April 3 game against St. Louis. Castellanos was hit by a pitch from St. Louis right-hander Jake Woodford with two outs and none on in the fourth inning. Castellanos later came around to score before flexing and bumping into Woodford, which set off a benches-clearing incident.
[NBC Sports] Braves say Acuña day to day with mild abdominal strain - The Atlanta Braves say Ronald Acuna Jr. had an MRI on Monday that revealed a mild abdominal strain and that the star outfielder is day to day heading into a series at Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday. Acuna was injured in the fourth inning of Atlanta’s 13-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night. He led off the fourth inning with a walk, and pitcher Kyle Hendricks threw over a couple of times while he was on first. It looked as if Acuna did something to his midsection on a dive back to the bag. The All-Star was checked by a trainer while he was on second, but he stayed in. He got up slowly after diving home to score on Travis d’Arnaud‘s sacrifice fly, and then was replaced in the field in the bottom half. Acuna is off to a terrific start this year, batting .419 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 16 games. The outfielder also has scored a major league-high 21 runs. He was honored as the National League’s player of the week Monday.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Phillies Place 3 On Injured List - The Phillies announced that they have placed a pair of left-handers – Jose Alvarado and Matt Moore – as well as infielder Ronald Torreyes on the COVID-19 injured list for undisclosed reasons. The club recalled lefties Damon Jones and Cristopher Sanchez to fill in for Alvarado and Moore, while infielder Nick Maton is up for Torreyes... In other Phillies news, the team announced that first base coach Paco Figueroa and and coaching assistant Bobby Meacham have entered COVID protocols. Infield coach Juan Castro will take over for Figueroa during his absence, while Triple-A LeHigh Valley manager Gary Jones will handle third base duties. Meacham had been filling in since third base coach Dusty Wathan went into COVID protocols last week.
[MLB.com] Marte to miss time with left rib fracture - An MRI revealed that Marlins center fielder Starling Marte sustained a non-displaced fracture in his 12th rib (left side), the club announced on Monday afternoon. He will refrain from activity for five to seven days before being re-evaluated, which will better help determine a timeframe for his return. Miami will place Marte on the injured list prior to Tuesday’s game against the Orioles and make a corresponding roster move, a source told MLB.com. Marte exited during his ninth-inning at-bat in Sunday afternoon’s 1-0 loss to the Giants at loanDepot park. He caught the attention of the dugout by grabbing his side, and was visited near the batter’s box by manager Don Mattingly and head athletic trainer Gene Basham following a take on a 71.5 mph curveball from Tyler Rogers. “He was trying to convince us to let him hit,” Mattingly said after Sunday’s game. “I’ve had a couple of those myself. It never goes good. Once you feel that, you know what it is. It’s like, there’s no testing it. So that’s the one thing I wasn’t going to let him [do]: take another swing. He wanted to take another swing, he wanted a ‘let me hit’ type thing. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
[ESPN] Atlanta Braves call up, give at-bat to Sean Kazmar Jr., who last played in majors in 2008 - The wait was worth it, according to Atlanta Braves infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. Kazmar, 36, got his first big league at-bat in more than 12 years Saturday, grounding into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the Braves’ 13-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The result of the play meant little compared to the resilience Kazmar displayed while grinding it out in the minors all those years. “What a good feeling,” Kazmar said. “Getting that opportunity early in the game was awesome. One, to do it with an Atlanta Braves uniform on, and secondly, to do it at Wrigley Field, it was amazing.” Kazmar was a fifth-round pick in the 2004 amateur draft, eventually appearing in 19 games for the 2008 San Diego Padres. Since then, it’s been a life in the minors, including the past seven seasons wearing the uniform of Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers. The gap between big league appearances was the greatest since that of right-hander Ralph Winegarner, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Winegarner played on June 23, 1936, for the Cleveland Indians and did not return to the majors until July 7, 1949, with the St. Louis Browns — a span of 13 years, 14 days.