Arizona Diamondbacks News
[The Athletic] Diamondbacks rookie Pavin Smith has gone from bust to perhaps the best in his 2017 draft class - “I definitely saw a lot of articles that said the D-backs shouldn’t have drafted me,” Smith said. “It’s cool to see some of the same guys that didn’t like me do now.” The transformation between then and now was relatively quick, requiring just three years and less than 300 games in the minors. If anything, Smith’s career to this point is a lesson in the unreliability of knee-jerk evaluations.
[Fansided] Inside the Clubhouse: Pirates, Twins, D-backs as trade deadline sellers? - The first checkpoint for teams to assess their season is typically on June 1. But a rival general manager says that the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 20-40 and 18 games back in the National League West, should begin to position themselves as sellers well before the July 30 trade deadline. Indeed, rival executives say that outfielder David Peralta is among the players the Diamondbacks have already made available. Peralta, 34 this summer, is hitting .245/.303/.412 with four home runs and 30 RBI in 204 at-bats this season and under club control through 2022 making a team-friendly $7.5 million per season... Other Diamondbacks trade candidates include Asdrubal Cabrera and Eduardo Escobar. Cabrera, 35, can play most infield positions and is hitting .287/.387/.470 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 137 at-bats. Escobar, 32, has once again found his power, hitting 14 home runs in 234 at-bats this season, and could be a reasonably cheap addition ($7.5 million salary) for a team in need of an upgrade at second or third bases.
Around the League
[MLB Trade Rumors] Phillies Outright Scott Kingery - The Phillies announced that they have reinstated infielder/outfielder Scott Kingery from the injured list and outrighted him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Kingery cleared waivers and is no longer part of the Phillies’ 40-man roster, though he’s still with the organization. Needless to say, this is not what the Phillies had in mind when they signed Kingery to a six-year, $24MM guarantee entering the 2018 season. Kingery hadn’t even played in the majors at that point, making his deal the largest for anyone who hadn’t yet appeared in the bigs. The former second-round pick was a top-tier prospect then, which led the Phillies to gamble on locking him up at what they thought were team-friendly prices for the long haul.
[CBS Sports] MLB foreign substance crack down: Trevor Bauer, Gerrit Cole show reduced spin; ex-MVP calls out ‘coincidence’ - Baseball’s foreign substance reckoning is here. Major League Baseball, after decades of looking the other way, is poised to begin cracking down on pitchers using foreign substances after a fact-finding mission earlier in the 2021 season determined the problem is widespread enough to warrant intervention. Team owners voted to move forward with the crackdown last week. In the days since, several notable pitchers have shown reduced spin rates, a trait that can be enhanced with the right sticky stuff. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who was recently accused of doctoring baseballs in a lawsuit, was down about six percent across the board with his spin rates during his most recent start Thursday, when he allowed five runs in five innings against the Rays.
[Sporting News] Trevor Bauer critiques MLB’s approach to foreign substance crackdown: ‘No one knows what the rules are right now’ - “We’ve heard a whole bunch of stuff and it always changes day to day,” Bauer said, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. “No one knows what the rules are right now, apparently, including MLB and the commissioner, so it’d be nice as players to know what rules we’re competing by and what rules are going to be enforced because, as everyone knows, a rule that’s written down that is never enforced is not a rule. So it’d be nice just to have some clarity on what the rules of the game are that we’re playing under so it’s changed about four times in the past week or so.”
[Beyond the Box Score] Marcell Ozuna is the real test of MLB’s domestic violence policy - Ozuna is facing the potential for twenty years in prison. Compare that to other high-profile domestic violence arrests; Jose Reyes was charged with a misdemeanor. Aroldis Chapman and Sam Dyson weren’t charged at all. Ozuna, in short, is facing a charge with the possibility of multiple years of incarceration, and far less likelihood of the charges being dropped than, say, Roberto Osuna. That point leads to the second way this is different from previous domestic violence instances: the complaining witness is not Ozuna’s victim. Here, according to the police report, two officers saw Ozuna commit the charged criminal acts. This is the first time since the enactment of the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse policy that a domestic violence incident has been charged by a law enforcement officer as witness, and it means that charges can — and probably will — go forward whether Ozuna’s wife testifies or not. In fact, under Georgia law, these circumstances mean that the charges cannot legally be dropped at his wife’s request.