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D-backs Preview #24: 4/28 vs. Padres

Two roster moves: one expected, the other an unexpected surprise.

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Tonight’s line-ups

Fernando Tatis - SS Carson Kelly - C
Trent Grisham - CF Pavin Smith - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
Eric Hosmer - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Wil Myers - RF Wyatt Mathisen - 1B
Jurickson Profar - LF David Peralta - LF
Luis Campusano - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Ha-Seong Kim - 2B Josh Rojas - RF
Ryan Weathers - LHP Riley Smith - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled C/OF Daulton Varsho (No. 12) from the Alternate Training Site.
  • Recalled RHP Riley Smith (No. 46) from the Alternate Training Site.
  • Placed OF Kole Calhoun (left hamstring strain) on the 10-day injured list.
  • Placed RHP Taylor Widener (right groin strain) on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 25.

The loss of Calhoun is not unexpected, after he limped off the field during the sixth inning of last night’s game, following a successful steal of third-base. It didn’t look to be as traumatic an injury as Ketel Marte’s, with Kole able to leave the field under his own steam. But it was apparently bad enough to merit a trip to the IL with Varsho replacing him. The loss of Widener was more of a surprise, as he didn’t appear to have problems during his last start, on April 22. But I suspect this is something the team may have been aware of for a bit longer - Riley Smith comes back from the alternate training site, and I doubt he only heard about it this afternoon. We’ll see what Torey has to say, later in this preview.

The news will no doubt leave the Padres scrambling for video, as the D-backs had to, after Stephen Strasburg was a late scratch during their series in Washington. So there may be some tactical benefit to not announcing the injury until as late as possible. Smith won his only previous start of the season, allowing two runs over six innings on April 10, against the Cincinnati Reds. He worked long relief against San Diego in the opening series, throwing five innings in the third game, and being charged with three runs (two earned). So they should not be entirely unfamiliar with him. It may be something of a bullpen game for the D-backs, depending on how long Smith can go.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Kole Calhoun to IL with Hamstring Strain. There is no set time table for his return and he was still going through evaluation this afternoon. They will be cautious with him, as they were with his knee. Torey couldn’t say whether or not the timeline would be as long as Ketel Marte’s has been.
  • Taylor Widener was put on the IL with a right groin strain. The injury occurred during batting practice yesterday when he was lightly jogging in the outfield and bent down for a ball and felt some discomfort. Torey credited Taylor with speaking up instead of trying to pitch through it and potentially missing 6 or 8 weeks. Although Torey doesn’t know what the length of time is going to be he believes the timeline was shortened by Widener speaking up early.
  • Riley Smith was called up and will start in Widener’s place today. Smith’s last start was April 10th, and he’s made two relief appearances since then.
  • Daulton Varsho has been recalled and will play outfield.
  • Tim Locastro is likely ahead of Ketel Marte for return to the team.
  • Joakim Soria and Chris Devenski both threw yesterday. Things are not perfect yet with regards to location and data. After the outing Soria did pitcher fielding practice without any incident. He’s close but they are still being cautious. Sounds like a few more days at least.
  • Whatever issues that caused Devenski to go on the restricted list have been resolved and are no longer a factor. The only thing in the way of his return is his throwing progression.
  • Carson Kelly is batting leadoff today. This is part of Torey’s mix and match strategy. He’d been thinking about doing this for a while, but it’s hard to do on the road as he’d need to rush in from the bullpen directly. But in home games the transition is easy to manage. The fact that they’re short some hitters is incentive to get Kelly an extra at bat. There was no consideration today to bat the pitcher 8th with Kelly batting leadoff today. Asked about the changes he’s made this year, here is an extended quote:

Last year I think he overbaked the launch angle where he was trying to get up and pull side damage in the air. That was our mind set and continues to be our mindset. I think he simplified his stride direction and his ability to be consistent with staying square and making good decisions on where the ball was going by having his eyes on the baseball for the longest period of time. Now on top of that he’s got a really good swing plane. Just listening to some of the things that he’s talking about where he’s connecting the dots with how he’s feeling and what he’s looking to do per at bat, he’s in a very advanced mindset right now., and that’s through conversation. Credit to him and the coaches around him that have these conversations, and credit to him for accepting the coaching that he’s gotten.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]