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Diamondbacks Game Preview #35: Cubs @ Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks will try to win their fourth consecutive series today.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Lineups

Today's Lineups

CUBS DIAMONDBACKS
Rafael Ortega - CF Cooper Hummel - LF
Willson Contreras - C Jordan Luplow - RF
Ian Happ - LF Ketel Marte - 2B
Seiya Suzuki - RF Christian Walker - 1B
Alfonso Rivas - 1B Pavin Smith - DH
Patrick Wisdom - 3B Daulton Varsho - C
Frank Schwindel - DH Nick Ahmed - SS
Jonathan Villar - 2B Josh Rojas - 3B
Ildemaro Vargas - SS Alek Thomas - CF
Justin Steele - LHP H. Castellanos - RHP

With a lefty on the mound for Chicago, the Diamondbacks move Ketel Marte back up to third in the batting order. A lefty on the mound also means starts for Jordan Luplow and Nick Ahmed. Pavin Smith shifts from RF to DH, allowing the Diamondbacks to take advantage of Luplow’s superior outfield defense. Cooper Hummel will bring his right-handed bat to left field, spelling David Peralta against the lefty starter. Due to roster moves, the team will be a bit lighter on bats off the bench this afternoon.

Starting Pitcher Matchup

Justin Steele (1-4, 5.32 ERA, 1.773 WHIP, 79 ERA+) vs. Humberto Castellanos (2-1, 4.32 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 95 ERA+)

Chicago’s Justin Steele made 20 appearances last year for the Cubs in his debut MLB season. Nine of those were starts. He had more success in relief (2.03 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings) than as a starter (4.95 ERA, 1.443 WHIP, 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings). So far this season, things have not gone as well for the young lefty. If not for injuries, chances are either Smyly or Steele would be out of the rotation, with Steele the likelier of the two candidates. Steele has made six starts for the north-siders this season, but has completed only 22 innings of work, giving some indication of just how rough his starts have been on Chicago’s bullpen. Steele is mostly a two-pitch pitcher, relying on a 92 mph fastball which he throws almost two-thirds of the time and an 82 mph slider. Technically speaking, he also throws a curve and a change, but the two pitches combined account for less than 10% of his offerings. Steele’s kryptonite is his inability to consistently throw strikes, especially when he tries to go to his off-speed offerings. If the Diamondbacks continue to show their customary 2022 patience at the plate, they should be able to take advantage of Steele’s 5.3 BB9 and get themselves plenty of baserunners to advance and hopefully push across the plate.

Arizona’s Humberto Castellanos retains his position in the rotation after a solid outing last week which saw him allow three runs through 5 1/3 innings of work, a game which he did not factor into the decision. Castellanos features a four-pitch mix that relies heavily on an 89-91 mph fastball that he throws slightly more than 50% of the time. He pairs his four-seam with a cutter to keep hitters from sitting on the four-seam. He also features an 87 mph slider and an 83 mph change-up, though he throws the latter less than 10% of the time. A big part of his moderate success this season has come from his ability to limit walks and to suppress the long ball. Castellanos has only given up one home run in 25 innings of work so far this season.

Roster Moves

Seth Beer has been optioned to AAA-Reno
Sean Poppen reinstated from the IL

Other Notes

Joe Mantiply has a 0.71 ERA this season and leads the league in scoreless appearances.