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D-backs Game Preview, #17: 4/25 vs. Dodgers

The D-backs lead the league in errors, and it’s not even close

New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DODGERS DIAMONDBACKS
Mookie Betts - RF Daulton Varsho - CF
Freddie Freeman - 1B Ketel Marte - 2B
Trea Turner - SS David Peralta - LF
Max Muncy - 2B Christian Walker - 1B
Justin Turner - 3B Seth Beer - DH
Will Smith - C Pavin Smith - RF
Cody Bellinger - CF Carson Kelly - C
Chris Taylor - DH Nick Ahmed - SS
Gavin Lux - LF Geraldo Perdomo - 3B
Walker Buehler - RHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Reinstated OF Jordan Luplow from the 10-day injured list (strained right oblique).
  • Recalled LHP Tyler Gilbert from Triple-A Reno.
  • Designated LHP Oliver Pérez for assignment.
  • Optioned OF Jake McCarthy to Reno following yesterday’s game.

Well, Perez didn't even make it to the roster crunch at the end of the month before being cut. Got to wonder if that's going to be the end of his major league career, as he showed very little here to make him worthy of a major-league roster spot. Gilbert does offer an alternate LH option out of the pen. On the other hand - literally! - Luplow is a welcome right-hand bat, on a line-up which has been extremely southpaw heavy since Opening Day. Hopefully he can hit worth a damn, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, shall we?

Through sixteen games, the D-backs have committed eighteen errors. That’s close to twice as many as any other team in the National League, with the next most currently being just ten. It’s also a pace close to double what Arizona had last year, where they had exactly one hundred over the entire season. Leading the way is catcher Jose Herrera, who has made four. Again for context, last year Carson Kelly led all Arizona catchers with five errors. Here are details of Herrera’s E’s

  • April 15, throw to second on stolen-base attempt
  • April 19, catcher’s interference
  • April 21, catcher’s interference
  • April 24, throw to third on stolen-base attempt

Oddly, it was the same player - Starling Marte - stealing the base on both of those occasions. But the two interference calls are also a bit odd. Behind him, Sergio Alcantara and Ketel Marte have each made three. The former had two in yesterday’s game, which was a bit of a surprise, since his play to that point had seemed pretty good (witness the stellar play which closed out Sarurday night’s win, for instance). Marte may also be experiencing a period of adjustment back to an everyday second-baseman. But even David Peralta has already made a pair, the same as during the entire 2019 season, when he won the Gold Glove.

However, despite this, the D-backs fielding overall has been a little better than average by most metrics. Total Zone scores them at +1 run above average, and BIS has them at +3. Both those numbers are actually an improvement over 2021, when they were -2 and -3 respectively. UZR, however, has them at -2.4, almost entirely (-2.2) due to the errors. That’s also worse than last year (UZR/150 of -9.6, compared to -1.0). Of course, it is still a perilously small sample size for any fielding metrics. But it’s a concern, given the stress Torey Lovullo has put on sound fundamentals - probably necessary for a team like the D-backs, that needs to squeeze every ounce it can out of talent

Torey Lovullo audio

Torey Lovullo notes

Tyler Gilbert will work out of the bullpen for now

Jordan Luplow will start against every LHP, and play RF and CF. He won’t be playing LF for now

Jake McCarthy was in a tough situation as most of his starts were coming off of LHP. He’ll get to play every day and work on his skills some more.

Oliver Perez. The usual words about the difficulty of telling a guy he’s being cut, but they were genuine feelings nonetheless.

Third base Discussion

If you have the time, you’ll really want to click on the audio link today and tune into the discussion about third base. It started off with Nick Piecoro asking about Perdomo being moved around the diamond a lot and whether that was contradictory to what Torey said he wanted to do in this regard with young players. Torey acknowledged it was, but out of necessity due to the Rojas injury.

The conversation then morphed into the differences between playing 3b & SS, and the evolution of the position.

“Third base is a front to back position, it’s not a lateral position. Shortstop perhaps is, but not as much at 3b. Third base you’re reading top spin, you’re reading front to back, drop steps. It’s more footwork.

Good third basemen turn their body in one direction or another and ride things out and get a little bit more time, or they get a good reaction and see that spin and charge the ball quickly. That takes time, it takes a lot of reps. Those are things we are working on right now with the guys that have traditionally been middle infielders such as Alcantara & Perdomo.

I think good third basemen have quick reactions and have great hands and move well with their feet. It’s just really quick interpretations...”

Barry Bloom brought up Arenado and Machado and how they’ve changed the position:

Torey responded

“I think the depth of a third basemen and where they’re playing today has absolutely 100% changed the dynamic (reaction vs. range). They’re like the second shortstop playing 3b. You do have to be very agile but there are balls where there’s so much spin on the ball or you need to react a certain way that you need to move front to back pretty quickly.

The traditional Scott Rolen who is gonna play at the cut of the grass for 60% of the time, that’s when it was a reactionary position. But now guys are backing up because players are hitting the ball really hard these days . I played in that [Rolen’s] generation. I feel like the players today are hitting ball just a little bit harder more consistently. So I think third basemen need a little bit more time. Bunting also is no longer inside the game so that allows the third baseman to step back about 5 or 6 feet more.