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Snake Bytes 3/27: Cactus League Finale

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Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Diamondbacks News:

[SI] Merrill Kelly’s stuff sharp in final spring tune-up

Back for his first spring training start since appearing in the World Baseball Classic, Kelly went 4 2/3 innings, getting in 61 pitches as he worked to get stretched out. Kelly will start the second game of the season in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Friday.

[AZS] Kyle Lewis focused on hitting his marks in stout spring

“It’s going well, I think it’s just about being consistent,” Lewis said on Thursday. “Just be consistent with the preparation and trying to get my body to a place where I wanted to be able to make an impact this year.

[AZC]Drey Jamison’s shift to relief creates fluid situation for Diamondbacks

For now, Jameson makes sense as one of the their eight relievers. The Diamondbacks wanted to have a pitcher in their bullpen capable of giving them length. Jameson can do that.

Just as important, the Diamondbacks view him as one of their 13 best pitchers. With additional rotation depth already in Triple-A Reno, it only made sense to put Jameson in a position to help them win games.

[SI] What do Diamondbacks spring hitting stats mean?

That’s not to say that spring performance doesn’t matter. Clearly it does in some instances. Team’s are evaluating overall health, and specific changes and improvements the players are working on. They look at many underlying factors to determine how a player is adapting. What is the quality of their approach at the plate? Are they picking up the ball and swinging at strikes? How hard are they impacting the baseball (Statcast). Some of that may show up in traditional batting stats, some may not, especially in such small samples. Remember the below numbers equate to basically two weeks worth of the games, which if they happened in the middle of the season wouldn’t cause people to reevaluate a player.

Baseball News:

[Forbes] Baseball’s most valuable teams 2023: Price tags are up 12% despite regional TV woes

Among the league’s 30 teams, geography and regional sports network economics played pivotal roles in our valuations, especially with the recent bankruptcy filing of Diamond Sports Group, which has the local media rights to 14 of MLB’s 30 teams. The Angels benefit from being in Southern California — where, like in New York, Chicago and Boston, buyers are willing to play a premium price —and are televised on Diamond Sports Group’s Bally Sports West, a profitable RSN that’s unlikely to cut its $112 million rights fee to the team when it emerges from bankruptcy. (For the annual rights fee for all 30 teams last season, see the table below.)

[FOXB] MLB legend Ken Griffey Jr among highest paid Reds player in 2023

Griffey joined the Reds in 2000 after he spent 11 seasons with the Mariners in his initial foray into the pros. He would play with the Reds from 2000 to 2008, when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. With the Reds, he signed a nine-year, $112.5 million deal, and he would get deferred payment from 2009 to 2024.

[MLBTR] Athletics sign Jeurys Familia

Familia did look quite a bit sharper this spring in Arizona’s camp, with a 1.35 ERA over 6 2/3 frames of work. It wasn’t enough to win him a job in the Diamondbacks bullpen, but Familia will now bring some veteran knowhow to an Athletics relief corps that is short on MLB experience. There is enough uncertainty in Oakland’s bullpen that it might not be a surprise if Familia ends up earning some save chances at some point, and given how the A’s are still in rebuild mode, Familia certainly looks like a potential trade chip this summer if he is pitching well.

[FN] Ranking the best Cactus League stadiums, ballpark food in Arizona

Arizona’s Cactus League provides a great fan experience. The Grapefruit League has teams far more spread out, throughout the state of Florida. Arizona, however? The furthest teams travel from their complex to another team’s park is about an hour, making any team’s home and road games accessible to fans that travel to Arizona for spring training.