Interesting tweak by manager Torey Lovullo to the line-up here, with Pavin Smith leading off for the Diamondbacks. The rest of the players look fairly familiar, though Geraldo Perdomo gets another start at short, over Josh Rojas.
To no great surprise if you watched the game, Joakim Soria is on the IL with a left calf strain. We’ll no doubt get more from Lovullo, later in the preview. But for now, let’s celebrate the arrival in the show of Matt Peacock. As Bob Nightengale reminds us, “He had only 1 college scholarship offer out of HS, quit baseball in college to work at his family’s saw mill installation company, and now is in the big leagues.” Said his college coach: “He was thinking about just giving up and going into his family’s business full-time. [When] kids are young, sometimes they’re not quite sure what they want to do...I just felt like with him, if someone’s patient enough, they’re going to get somebody that’s pretty good.”
He was picked down in the 23rd round of the 2017 draft by Arizona. Barely a handful of prospects selected so late that year have yet reached the majors. Though, oddly, three are now on the D-backs 40-man roster. As well as Peacock, Rojas was a 26th-round pick by the Astros, and left-handed reliever Jeremy Beasley, a 30th-round pick by the Angels. Peacock’s last outing in formal action was the 2019 Arizona Fall League, alongside fellow 2021 debutant Perdomo, though Matt only made one start. Overall, he has a 3.40 minor-league ERA, with a 194:79 K:BB. He does have the ability to work longer than one inning - he was a starter for Jackson in 2019 - which could be useful in Coors Field.
Torey Lovullo notes
Pavin Smith leading off: I feel very comfortable with his at bats and him surveying balls and strikes. He’s not going to change his approach whether he’s leading off, hitting 5th, or hitting 7th.
He knew he was going to be asked about this and was ready to share his thoughts on lineups: I’ve been talking to the players about this and not caring where they hit in the lineup, just going out and being the best version of yourself. Not based on what a typical leadoff hitter does or typical 4th hitter does. No matter where you hit just trying to get the most out of a lineup , the potential of a lineup to score as many runs as possible. It’’s a little different for me, but I think it’s the healthiest way for us to go out and attack and win baseball games.....
Asked about Ketel Marte, who had previously expressed that his mindset changes somewhat when he’s leading off and if he’s communicated with him these thoughts: I’ve had indirect conversations with just about everybody, trying to express the mindset that I just shared with you. Just go out and be the best version of yourself and not carry around what the typical leadoff hitter did in 1990. The game is changing, you’ve got to transition our thoughts that way and I think the players need to as well and we’ve been outlining that to them. The way I look at it the best hitter in the lineup typically is hitting second and Ketel is filling that role.
Is the impetus for eschewing more traditional lineups coming from him or from the front office: The front office does an unbelievable job of allowing me the freedom to go and do what I want to do on a daily basis from the dugout level. I’m thankful for that. I will say that I have unbelievable conversations with everybody in the front office as much as I do with staff members. I’m always on a search for information. I’ve got to learn and grow year by year, I don’t want to get stuck in 2017. Managing this years team the way that I know how and the best way that I possibly can is to have a little flexibility, a little versatility to the lineup. This is my idea. These have been things that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. But I do get a ton of input from everybody around me.
- Joakim Soria: Torey did not know if his strain was grade 1,2, or 3. It’s severe enough that he will be out at least 10 days. He felt it when he ran to first base. There had been no indication of an injury prior to that.
- Zac Gallen threw a bullpen with curveballs , will throw 70-80 pitches Wednesday. He sounds close
- Kole Calhoun is playing 3-5 innings full on defense, and is progressing. He sounds close too
- Nick Ahmed took a couple of days off, today hit in the cage, will resume some baseball activity and take infield tomorrow