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Diamondbacks Game Preview #143: 9/15 vs. Padres

Another day, another starting pitcher!

Coronavirus - Mon May 17, 2021 Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

PADRES DIAMONDBACKS
Jurickson Profar - LF Stone Garrett - LF
Juan Soto - RF Ketel Marte - DH
Manny Machado - 3B Jake McCarthy - CF
Jake Cronenworth - 2B Christian Walker - 1B
Josh Bell - 1B Emmanuel Rivera - 3B
Brandon Drury - DH Jordan Luplow - RF
Ha-Seong Kim - SS Carson Kelly - C
Trent Grisham - CF Josh Rojas - 2B
Austin Nola - C Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Sean Manaea - LHP Drey Jameson - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Selected RHP Drey Jameson (No. 58) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Placed LHP Kyle Nelson on the 15-day injured list (left elbow inflammation), retro to Sept. 13.
  • The D-backs’ 40-man roster is at 40.

Tonight, Jameson makes his debut, as we already talked about. He will become the fourteenth different pitcher to start a game for the Diamondbacks this season. That’s already the second highest tally in franchise history, behind the sixteen who started for Arizona last year. Before 2021, the team had never used more than a dozen starters in a season. But it’s not particularly excessive in terms of the major leagues. The D-backs will become the twelfth team this year to have used at least fourteen men in their rotation. The range across MLB is from eight (the Astros and, perhaps surprisingly, the Rockies) all the way up to the seventeen starters on the Rays and Reds.

What stands out for Arizona is the back-heavy nature of those numbers. The D-backs’ front four have been close to ever present: Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen, Madison Bumgarner and Zach Davies have combined to make 108 starts, 76% of the team’s games. The Astros and Giants are the only other teams with as many as four pitchers to have made 24+ starts this year. Cincinnati and Detroit don’t have anyone in that category. The problem for Arizona has been that fifth spot, which been an almost continuous revolving door. Including today, the other thirty-five games will have been split among ten different Arizona pitchers. Hopefully Jameson and Ryne Nelson will provide stability over the final three weeks.

There was some discussion yesterday about the age of the D-backs. Per Baseball Reference, which used a weighted average of age and innings pitched, we are actually the fourth-oldest pitching team this season at 30.1 years of age, largely due to the rotation including Kelly (33) and Bumgarner (32). However, that is skewed by those in their thirties no longer on the roster i.e. Chris Devenski, Noe Ramirez, Dallas Keuchel, etc. I took a look at the pitchers used in the past 14 days by Arizona, and the average age weighted by innings over that time has dropped by almost a year to 29.2 years old (though if BR uses partial years, my figure may be low). The arrival of the 25-year-old Jameson tonight should pull it lower still.