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Snake Bytes: 5/10 - The Brent Strom Effect

The Diamondbacks starting rotation ranks 2nd in the National League in ERA after 30 games.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Last Night’s Game

Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 3: Defense! Defense!

“This wasn’t a game where the starting pitching was dominant. Nor was it a game where the offense out-slugged the opposition: indeed, the Diamondbacks were outhit by the Marlins, 9-7. It was, however, probably the first game I can remember where the Arizona defense proved key. Which is particularly odd, considering the first hitter of the game reached base on a D-backs error.”

[Arizona Sports] Ketel Marte’s homer propels D-backs over Marlins in complete team win

“The Arizona Diamondbacks played complementary baseball in a complete team win over the Miami Marlins on Monday night. The D-backs used the combination of timely hitting, stellar defense and a nearly perfect performance from the bullpen en route to a 4-3 victory at Chase Field. Diamondbacks starting pitcher Humberto Castellanos didn’t quite make it long enough to qualify for a quality start, but he was still pretty solid in his fifth start of the year.”

The win has Torey Lovullo tied with Kirk Gibson for most wins as the Diamondbacks field manager at 353.

Statistical Oddity from the D-backs games against the Marlins this season

Diamondbacks News

[Tom Verducci/Sports Illustrated] How Diamondbacks Pitching Coach Brent Strom is Fixing Last year’s Worst Team

H/T to MrRbi17 for posting this gem of an article in the GDT last night. Verducci covers how the 73-year-old pitching sage has had a positively profound effect on the D-backs top three starting pitchers and why the team currently ranks 2nd in the NL in SP ERA.

[Nick Piecoro/Arizona Republic] Alek Thomas’ arrival could lead to tough decisioins for Diamondbacks

“The Diamondbacks have wanted for years to create a culture of competition. That finally seems to be getting close to becoming reality.”

Good because I’d rather have the problem of too many good players than too few, which the 2021 D-backs had.

[Jessie Friedman] 5 observations from Diamondbacks’ series win over Rockies

Subscriber wall, but more or less one of those points talks about the starting pitching and how it’s buoyed by an unsustainably low BABIP.

I will also note the team is very good at avoiding loud contact, as they were 3rd in Statcast in Hard Hit% and 5th in Barrels/PA amongst the 30 teams coming into play on May 8th. There is some BABIP suppression potential, but obviously not in the .233 range (more likely they’ll finish at .285-.295 if the level of pitching and defense remains the same all year).

Around the MLB Horn

[Ben Clemens/Fangraphs] An Overdue Barrel Rate Refresher

“The method in question works like so: first, take every batted ball from one season and calculate the barrel-per-batted-ball-event (Barrel%, let’s call it) for every pitcher and batter in the game. Next, divide them into quartiles with an equal number of batted ball events in each. For example, the quartile of pitchers that allowed the least loud contact gave up barrels on 3.3% of their batted balls. The quartiles that allowed the most checked in at 7.9% of batted balls. One minor note: I manually defined barrels for this exercise, which gave me slightly different barrel rates than Statcast (though within half a percentage point of batted balls overall).”

[Keith Law/The Athletic] MLB Draft Big Board 2022: Keith Law ranks the top 100 prospects

Cam Collier is ranked higher by Law than everyone else, slotting in at the #2 spot behind Druw Jones and ahead of Termarr Johnson, Elijah Green, and Brooks Lee to round out the Top 5. Collier is a 17-year-old 3B playing at JUCO powerhouse Chipola, with most of the competition being 2-3 years older than him, could he be a dark horse candidate for the #2 selection?

[Andy McCullough/The Athletic] How therapy helped Braves closer Kenley Jansen reclaim his place among the game’s elite

“Jansen, who recorded save No. 358 on Saturday, turned 34 last September. In deference to his age, in recent years he has revamped his diet and his workouts to regain the velocity of his signature cut fastball. More importantly, Jansen believes, he has reconfigured his mind. Jansen credited an embrace of therapy and meditation as vital to his revival.”

Injuries

Former Diamondbacks News

Random Baseball Tweets of the Day