|Josh Rojas - 3B||Mookie Betts - RF|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Freddie Freeman - 1B|
|Lourdes Gurriel - DH||Will Smith - C|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Max Muncy - 3B|
|Corbin Carroll - LF||J.D. Martinez - DH|
|Gabriel Moreno - C||David Peralta - LF|
|Jake McCarthy - RF||Miguel Vargas - 2B|
|Alek Thomas - CF||James Outman - CF|
|Geraldo Perdomo - SS||Miguel Rojas - SS|
|Merrill Kelly - RHP||Dustin May - RHP|
Let’s be perfectly clear. Last night was a single game. Just one of seventy or more. even the most optimistic of our predictions thinks the 2023 Diamondbacks are going to lose this season. If it’s the worst defeat of the season. I’ll be astonished. 14 other teams also lost their opener yesterday - and none of them were facing the team who won more games than any other last year. Here’s how little this matters: the ROCKIES are currently tied with the Dodgers at the top of the NL West. Yeah. Like that’s gonna last. But, personally, I think what annoyed me the most was the false dawn of the first couple of innings, where Arizona were getting hits and Zac Gallen was pitching like a Cy Young contender.
I commented in the GDT, “I feel like I am being lulled in to some kind of trap...”, and going by recs, it appears I wasn’t the only one. That concern proved adequately justified, as the issues which plagued the team last year raised their head again. 26th in the majors by OPS against left-handed pitching? Last night, a .501 OPS by Arizona, despite the team stacking up on right-handed hitters, with Lewis, Longoria, Gurriel and Moreno all in the line-up. The theory made sense. The practice? Not so much. The bullpen, 25th by ERA in the majors last year? 25th by ERA in the majors on Opening Day, allowing six hits, two walks and three earned runs over 3.1 innings.
Again: one game. But we have nine more in a row against the Dodgers or Padres, with their combined payroll of half a billion dollars or thereabout. So it’s not going to get any easier. By the end of that stretch, the D-backs will have been through the fire, and we’ll have a better idea of what they’re made. The team did make a move today, picking up left-handed relief pitcher Anthony Misiewicz from the Cardinals for cash considerations, and moving Corbin Martin to the 60-day IL to make room for Misiewicz. Not clear if he’ll be added to the 25-man roster (where we already have left-handed options Joe Mantiply and Kyle Nelson), or going to Reno.
With a right-handed pitcher on the mound for Los Angeles, it’s certainly a very different line-up for Arizona, from the one which started last night. Josh Rojas starts at third and bats leadoff, with Geraldo Perdomo replacing Nick Ahmed at short. Lourdes Gurriel moved to DH in place of Kyle Lewis, and Corbin Carroll moves up to fifth in the batting order, ahead of Gabriel Moreno. Hopefully, it will be a little more productive than last night, when the team only sent three over the minimum to the plate - and two of those reached on an error and a hit by pitch.