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Diamondbacks Game Preview #48: 5/28 vs. Dodgers

Maybe Merrill Kelly will have better luck?

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Mookie Betts - RF Daulton Varsho - DH
Freddie Freeman - 1B Josh Rojas - 3B
Trea Turner - SS Ketel Marte - 2B
Will Smith - C Christian Walker - 1B
Edwin Rios - DH David Peralta - LF
Justin Turner - 3B Jake McCarthy - RF
Cody Bellinger - CF Alek Thomas - CF
Chris Taylor - LF Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Gavin Lux - 2B Jose Herrera - C
Tony Gonsolin - RHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Reinstated LHP Kyle Nelson from the injured list.
  • Transferred RHP Luke Weaver to the 60-day injured list (right elbow inflammation).
  • Optioned LHP Tyler Holton to Triple-A Reno following last night’s game.

We quite often mention “D-backs killers”, which would be those players who seem to play better against Arizona. Right now, Fernando Tatis Jr. leads the active list of those who fall into that category: across 30 games against the Diamondbacks, he has a triple-slash line of .368/.435/.868, for a whopping 1.304 OPS. Some of the names at the top of the active leaderboard there are ones you’d expect: Mike Trout hits well, film at eleven. But the presence of A.J. Pollock and Eugenio Suarez in the top ten, both with OPS’s over a thousand when facing the D-backs, and over more than thirty games, is a little harder to explain. Though I’m just impressed Pollock stayed healthy enough to face us 31 times.

But let’s turn the tables and look at the D-backs who have done particularly well against our current opponents, Los Angeles, when wearing Sedona Red. You won’t be surprised to learn that the current pickings are kinda slim. With a 50 PA minimum, Christian Walker leads the way among active players, mostly through having hit 15 home-runs in only 180 at-bats against the Dodgers. That helps off-set a lower batting average and on-base percentage, with his slash becoming .239/.296/.528 for an OPS of .824. That’s decent, and is good enough for third, behind Goldy (unsurprisingly) and Pollock (surprisingly again). Also did not expect to see Nick Ahmed or Jake Lamb in the top ten.

If we expand the list to all-time, with the same 50 PA minimum, there are also names I wasn’t thinking we’d see. The best D-backs hitter against the Dodgers is... a man probably better known for being a Dodger: Shawn Green. Over two seasons and 29 games versus his old club, he batted .324/.402/.611 for a 1.013 OPS. Just below 1.000 is another name I didn’t expect: Carlos Quentin, who hit .327 versus Los Angeles, with almost as many walks as K’s (8:10). Also on the podium is O-Dawg, who had the most playing time of the top three (41 games) and batted .331. Goldy and Gonzo round out the top five, no surprises there. I’ll revisit this in upcoming series and see who our best hitters are against each opponent.

Torey Lovullo notes

Torey Lovullo audio

Infielder Tipping Pitches:

Something special for Oldenschoole. Check out the last 6+ minutes of the audio.

Torey acknowledged that infielders tipping pitches is definitely a thing that happens in major league baseball. He has his own term for it called “Stomping”. He joked that if we see it, please let him know. It’s something they pay attention to all the time. He’s very focused on this to the point where I doubt it’s being overlooked.

“Stomping looks like the middle infielder can see the signs and therefore is going to start to move in the direction where he feels the ball is going to be batted. Traditionally if it’s soft it’s going to be hit more to the pull side, if it’s firm it’s going to be hit more to the middle or right at you. I look at our stomping potential probably very four to five pitches. I don’t look at it all the time. But if I see a very curious take, I’ll start to look for stomping. “

Torey said he felt that players are more prone to stomp when they see the sign, but with the pitch com it’s less likely to happen. There are even Decoy Stompers, which is something his guys do.

Injury Updates:

Kyle Nelson was activated from the Covid IL. He said that he was fortunate to be just mildly symptomatic. He was able to throw live BP to stay fresh and stretched out during the IL stint

Daulton Varsho, struck on the upper right back on a pitch from Ryan Pepiot Friday night had further imaging Saturday and was diagnosed with a right scapula contusion and remains day to day. Listed in the lineup as DH initially, Manager Torey Lovullo said he would re-evaluate just prior to game time Saturday. Right now, the issue is primarily throwing, but he may still be able to hit. If Varsho is unable to throw Jose Herrera will continue to start at catcher with Cooper Hummel as backup.

Jordan Luplow, left foot x-rays were negative, and he remains day to day.

Zach Davies, right leg contusion, will start on Sunday

Nick Ahmed was in the clubhouse today, meaning he cleared Covid protocols but has not yet been activated from the IL. Per Lovullo Ahmed is still feeling very tired and “gassed”.

J.B. Bukauskas, (60-day IL, Shoulder) threw a 25-pitch bullpen yesterday

Carson Kelly (Oblique) continues to take BP in the cage. He is progressing in positive way but timing to return to rehab games is still TBD

Luke Weaver threw 25 pitches in an extended spring training game today and all reports were positive. He was transferred to the 60 Day IL, but that appears to just be a roster management move and not an indication of any setback. Weaver first went on the IL April 8th and it’s unlikely he would have been activated prior to June 7th.

Bullpen Coach Mike Fetters has Covid. He is mildly symptomatic and feels good.

Dan Carlson is filling in as bullpen coach

First base Coach Dave McKay has also been out with Covid and reports feeling well.