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D-backs Preview #27: 5/1 vs. Rockies

Can the hottest hitting team in baseball keep it rolling into May?

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Raimel Tapia - LF Pavin Smith - CF
Trevor Story - SS Carson Kelly - C
Ryan McMahon - 3B Asdrubal Cabrera - 1B
C.J. Cron - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Charlie Blackmon - RF Wyatt Mathisen - LF
Garrett Hampson - 2B Josh VanMeter - 2B
Yonathan Daza - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Dom Nunez - C Josh Rojas - RF
Austin Gomber - LHP Zac Gallen - RHP

On Friday, April 9, the D-backs lost the opener against Cincinnati in extra innings, and fell to a 2-6 record. The season seemed all but over, before little more than a week had passed, with injuries piling up like I-10 traffic in rush hour. But since then? Arizona has gone 12-6. No National League team has fewer losses over that time, and the D-backs have averaged close to six runs per game. Across the entire majors, only Atlanta (97) is closer than fifteen of Arizona’s total of 106 runs scored, spear-headed by Carson Kelly (above). They come into play today one-half game back of a wild-card spot, and just two back of the NL West leading Dodg... wait, what? The GIANTS are top of the division?

But... but... I was assured the “2021 Dodgers will be the best team in MLB history”? Not “could” - will. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, has it? Admittedly, it’s still early days: this game marks just the one-sixth point of the schedule (which reminds me: the Place Your Bets spreadsheet is due for its first update after tonight). But it’s safe to say, this season has already been considerably more interesting than most of us expected. But as mentioned last night, our record is not that different from the 2020 D-backs, who imploded in a welter of recriminations at about this point. This still feels a somewhat fragile record, held together with sticky tape. If we’re still half a game out at the end of May, I might start to believe then.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Ketel Marte: Felt good after yesterday’s progression. Will continue doing the same. Yesterday was his first day at Chase. He’s in really good hands at Salt River. But they wanted to spend some quality time with him and evaluate him. He’s at Chase field again today and will do the same progression.
  • Tim Locastro: Had a full pre game “workup” yesterday. Will do the same thing today and then put some innings on top of that at the alt site game.
  • Christian Walker: Played in alt site game yesterday for 5 innings and is scheduled to play 7 innings today.
  • Joakim Soria: Threw a 12 pitch inning yesterday and then went through his post game progression of PFP., To continue to test the calf and that he can get off the mound without any discomfort.
  • Torey indicated the players have not been “slow played” in their return from the IL just because the team has been playing well. While it’s “certainly nice that the understudies and some of the replacements have been feeling good and contributing... It’ll be nice to layer in some of the starters that we’ve been counting on. But it’s nice to see the younger players do well too.
  • I asked him if he was stressing at all about some of the tough conversations that may be upcoming as the injured players return:

“Of course, those are hard days for me and the organization. It means that when we have tough discussions they are shared tough discussions, where we all can equally give input. It means that we’re a good organization, we’ve got some depth... That’s what the minor leagues are for... when players go down to player development and continue to grow and learn we’re dialed in to what they’re doing. We make changes here based on what we need. And if you’re playing well you’re going to get that opportunity. So they’re tough conversations but we know that it’s not the end of stories. It means continue to go down there and work and get your but back up here. “

  • Torey also spoke about the contributions of Chris Cron and also how Josh Rojas has overcome his slow first week of the season on both sides of the ball to recover and contribute.

Give a listen if you have the time

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]