[D’backs.com] D-backs’ depth tested by Walker’s injury - The D-backs lost for the third time in as many games, falling to the Padres, 7-0, on Saturday night at Petco Park. A bigger concern was whether Arizona would lose first baseman Christian Walker for any length of time. Fernando Tatis Jr. led off the bottom of the fourth for the Padres by hitting a grounder to the right of shortstop Josh Rojas, who fielded the ball and tried to throw on the move to first base. The throw one-hopped Walker and smacked him just under his left eye. The area under Walker’s eye began to swell while head athletic trainer Ryan DiPanfilo tended to him on the field. Walker tried to talk his way into staying in the game, but manager Torey Lovullo said no.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ Walker sustains hit to face after errant throw in loss to Padres - In his first start of the season, pitcher Caleb Smith struggled through three innings of work. The lefty/righty gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and walked three. He was replaced in the fourth by Riley Smith, who then gave up three more runs. The D-backs’ bats weren’t any help for the pitching squad, as the team only recorded four hits on the night, two of which came from Ketel Marte. “It wasn’t my favorite brand of baseball today,” Lovullo said. “I think we struggled in several areas and we obviously gotta tighten that up. … Overall it was a clunker and we’ve got to get better.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks open season with 3rd-straight loss to Padres - The rotation has been atrocious, with left-hander Caleb Smith the latest starter to struggle. He lasted just three innings and threw a whopping 79 pitches. Through three starts, the Diamondbacks have received just 11 innings out of their starters, who have given up 13 runs (12 earned) on 17 hits and nine walks. The struggles require context, of course. It is only three games, one bad start each for Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly and Smith. The Diamondbacks are without Zac Gallen, their best starter, but expect him back before the end of the month. And they are playing a Padres team that is undeniably good, a club that possesses a tough lineup to navigate even for the best of rotations.
Arizona Diamondbacks News
[The Athletic] Nick Ahmed is hurt, Geraldo Perdomo is up and here’s what it means for the Diamondbacks - Scouts have long been excited about Diamondbacks shortstop prospect Geraldo Perdomo — ranked the No. 91 prospect in the game by The Athletic’s Keith Law — but they’ve always tempered that excitement with patience. Perdomo is just 21 and, thanks to the pandemic wiping out last year’s minor-league season, hasn’t logged a single plate appearance above A-ball. He is still growing into his long and lanky body. He needed time. Of all the players on Arizona’s 40-man roster, perhaps only right-hander Luís Frias had longer odds of appearing in a big-league game this year. Yet there Perdomo was Friday night, receiving a pump-fake of a phone call from farm director Josh Barfield. He wouldn’t be playing in Saturday’s alternate-site game against the Angels, Barfield told him. “Why?” Perdomo demanded. Well, because he’d be going to San Diego. To the big leagues. “I was really, really surprised,” Perdomo said. “I was crying a little bit and happy and really excited to be part of the team.”
[D’backs.com] Perdomo ascends to bigs with Ahmed on IL - Josh Rojas started the first three games of the season at shortstop, and manager Torey Lovullo said Rojas would still get the majority of the playing time at the position. But with Ahmed’s knee still not 100%, the team decided it needed a little more coverage at short. The D-backs did not want to ask Ketel Marte, who spent almost the entire spring playing center field, to move back to the infield. “A super talented, young player for us that we have been growing to love as the Major League staff has gotten a chance to watch him perform,” Lovullo said of Perdomo. “There’s an ease to his game defensively. He is still growing and learning as a hitter every single day, but he has a very, very stubborn at-bat from both sides of the plate. So it made a lot of sense for us to have that versatility, that type of versatile player, join us and get his opportunity.”
Around the League
[USA Today] White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes starts season 8-for-8 to set MLB mark - Yermín Mercedes finally made an out, but not before the Chicago White Sox rookie became the first player since at least 1900 to begin a season with eight straight hits. The 28-year-old Mercedes got hits his first three times up Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels before a flyout in the eighth inning. On Friday night he became the second player in the modern era to get five hits in his first career start, and the first to go 5-for-5. “I never imagined that. It is great for me,” Mercedes said after the White Sox lost 5-3 on Saturday. “Now, it’s a new day for me. I want to keep doing well and work with my approach. I want to play every day and I’m excited for that.”
[Yahoo Sports] Umpires mark first brawl of MLB season by ejecting wrong guy in Cardinals-Reds - It only took three days for MLB to see its first bench-clearing brawl of the 2021 season, and it wasn’t long before the umpires delivered one of the year’s more questionable calls. The brawl in question came during Saturday’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds. In the fourth inning, Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos took home on a wild pitch from Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford. As the dust cleared on a play at the plate, Castellanos gave Woodford the full Allen Iverson treatment. Cardinals veteran catcher Yadier Molina was not amused, immediately charging after Castellanos and giving him a shove in the back as he walked to the dugout.