It also was a homestand that provided more encouraging signs for a team hoping to take a step into contention this season.
There was right-hander Drey Jameson firing four shutout innings on Wednesday in his first start of the season, the third consecutive impressive outing from a Diamondbacks starting pitcher.
There was Lourdes Gurriel Jr. delivering a three-hit game, including a third-inning, three-run shot for his first home run of the season. After getting five hits in his first eight games, Gurriel has gone 6 for 13 with three extra-base hits three games since.
Torey Lovullo knew the moment he came out of the dugout in the top of the third inning to argue balls and strikes with home plate umpire Gabe Morales he was going to get ejected. ”I felt like I had enough of certain calls that were made” , Lovullo said. “I just felt like I needed to make a statement to tell him how I felt”.
For that matter, the D-backs’ seven-game homestand went well, too, as they took three of four from the Dodgers and two of three from the Brewers, two teams that were in first place when they came to town.
This time, Lovullo entered spring training without a clear-cut closer and continued in the prevailing weeks to remain steadfast. Now, it’s almost a closer-by-committee and Lovullo remains committed to using a particulate reliever in a given situation.
Translated, that could dictate a pitcher closing one night and then putting out a fire in the fifth the next night.
Looking at the shape he’s in, it’s obvious to see how fit and strong he looks. ”His body looks amazing” Lovullo said. Being in such good shape is translating into all aspects of his game. In addition to running well, Ahmed is back to putting up great numbers on defense. He already has +2 outs above average despite playing just part time, and is on pace to put up double digits in that category. And he’s off to a hot start at the plate as well, going 10 for 25, .400 in the young season.
Diamond said as much during a motion this week. Per The Athletic, Diamond claims that it needs to restructure the three teams’ contracts and lower their annual payments. This is because the contracts were signed when the amount of cable households was higher, before cord-cutting ramped up.
Two winters ago, the Oklahoma native inked a $3.75MM free agent deal with the Angels. His stint in Orange County didn’t go according to plan. Bradley threw 18 2/3 innings over 21 outings, allowing 13 runs (10 earned). He punched out only 19.2% of opposing hitters while generating whiffs on a well below-average 8.1% of his offerings. Bradley induced ground balls at a huge 57.1% clip but the lackluster strikeout tallies contributed to a 4.82 ERA that was his worst since moving to relief.
Umpire Chris Guccione told reporters, including the Associated Press, Vanover had a “pretty good-sized knot” on his head, and he was unaware he had been hit by a baseball. Vanover had to be helped off the field and is undergoing tests at a nearby hospital.
“Totally makes sense to me,” said Tom Lienhardt, who was sipping on a beer Tuesday night before the Brewers-Diamondbacks game at Chase Field. “Since the games are shorter, you’ve got to adjust.”
Other players considered for this list, or who have a chance to play their way onto it, include Max Scherzer, Luis Severino, Tyler Mahle, Sean Manaea, Harrison Bader, Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, and Jung Hoo Lee. Of course, one of the best parts of baseball is surprising performances, and we’ll revisit the 2023-24 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings every month.
Big League Utah, a group led by former Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller, is interested in bringing an expansion Major League Baseball franchise to Salt Lake City, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.