The rookies came up huge on Friday night and were supported by the veteran presence of Asdrúbal Cabrera as the Diamondbacks came away unlikely winners against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Diamondbacks made only one trade deadline deal. That didn’t stop the team from needing to make six moves to fill out the roster as Stuart Fairchild, Noé Ramirez, Joe Mantiply, Riley Smith and Pavin Smith all headed to the COVID-IL. Drew Ellis was called up to replace Eduardo Escobar. Reno Aces’ closer, Miguel Aguilar was called up as one of the fill-in bullpen arms. Both of them played key parts in the Snakes eventual victory, as did Josh VanMeter, booting balls at second while hitting lead-off.
Asdrúbal Cabrera will get plenty of credit for the win, given he had three walks and two hits, including the eventual walk-off single. Zac Gallen was also mostly back in form, cruising through five innings and working his way out of trouble in the sixth. However, it was the rookies contributing that really made a difference. Josh VanMeter had three doubles (two of the RBI variety) in the game. Drew Ellis made his MLB debut as a pinch hitter. He promptly rapped a solid hit into left and then later flew around the bases to score, first-to-home, on one of those VanMeter doubles. Daulton Varsho’s heads-up situational thinking was key to the eventual winning run. Most impressively though, was Miguel Aguilar. The Reno Aces COVID call-up was brought in with the Diamondbacks holding a slim lead. The Dodgers had a runner at third and no one out with the heart of the order coming to the plate. That’s a tough damn way to make a big league debut if ever there was one. Aguilar stranded that Dodger evil at third and slammed the door shut on the Dodgers tying the game up. Someone buy that young man a steak and a beer.
It took every last penny of their allotted draft pool money, but the Diamondbacks finally managed to sign their first pick from the July draft. Jordan Lawlar now joins the organization, giving the Diamondbacks another player in MLB’s top-100 prospects.
The only deadline deal the Diamondbacks made saw Arizona trade Joakim Soria to the Toronto Blue Jays (now finally playing in Toronto) for a pair of players to be named later.
Other Baseball News
Sometimes sliding feet first still doesn’t prevent injury. The Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr exited San Diego’s Friday night loss after popping his shoulder out of joint trying to slide into third base on some aggressive TOOTBLANing. I’m fairly certain that San Diego was planning on adding talent on Friday, not losing it. After making a number of moves over the last couple of weeks, this is a massive blow to the Padres’ hopes of running down the Dodgers and Giants.
Joey Votto is on a red-hot tear. On Friday, Votto tied Barry Bonds’ 2004 mark of homering in seven consecutive games, leaving him one short of the record eight consecutive games held by Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956).
That the Dodgers and Yankees both make this list says something about the competitive state of baseball today.
Friday’s trade deadline was one of the most active and certainly one of the most impactful in recent memory A bevvy of star talent found itself traded, with no less than a baker’s dozen stars being traded to contending teams, this in addition to some big names moving prior to the deadline.