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Snake Bytes 5/23: The Good Vibes Keep Rolling

Nobody wants to be the odd man out when Davies comes back

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks News

[SI] Tommy Henry Makes Statement in D-backs 6-3 Win Over Phillies

Henry held the Phillies scoreless inning through the first three innings, allowing just two singles and a walk. He hit a speed bump in the fourth inning giving up two solo homers to Kyle Schwarber and Bryson Stott. Both were on pitches at the very top of he zone. He regrouped quickly to limit the damage, not getting scared out of the strike zone to register a fly out to end the inning. Then retired the side in order in the fifth inning. He got two more outs in the sixth after issuing a leadoff walk including striking out Kyle Schwarber with a 3-2 changeup. Torey Lovullo went out to get him, bringing in Austin Adams to get the final out.

[MLB Pipeline] Mock draft: Prep talent makes big push up board

12. D-backs: Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga. (No. 18)

A high school player with upside who plays up the middle? Sounds right out of the D-backs playbook, right? (Druw Jones, Jordan Lawlar, Corbin Carroll)

[SI] D-backs Prospects Three Up, Three Down: May 16-21, 2023

Up: Jameson, English, Melendez

Down: Lawlar, Vargas, Vukovich

[MLB Pipeline] Here are 30 of the best prospect finds — 1 for each team

D-backs: Brandon Pfaadt, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 33)

Those who witnessed the excitement around Pfaadt’s MLB debut on May 3 might have thought he’d long been the top arm in the Arizona system. Au contraire, the Division II Bellarmine product was the D-backs’ final pick in the five-round 2020 Draft, and he signed for below slot at $100,000. He’s developed a mid-90s fastball and two legit above-average pitches in his slider and changeup, making him a strong midrotation option at the least in the NL West.

[theAthletic] MLB Power Rankings: Braves, Astros move on up; Blue Jays, Padres in free fall PAYWALL

9. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 27-20

Last Power Ranking: 10

Things are mostly going well with the Arizona offense. By bWAR, the Diamondbacks’ top six players are all hitters. Arizona had a couple dead spots in the outfield, but has the prospect depth to flip those guys out for replacements like Dominic Fletcher and Pavin Smith, both of whom are hitting well. Arizona has similar prospect depth in the rotation, but the results there have not been as good.

The bottom three spots in the Arizona rotation are filled by rookies Ryne Nelson and Brandon Pfaadt along with pseudo-rookie Tommy Henry. They have a combined 5.81 ERA. Each has shown positive signs, but consistency is what a rotation needs. Arizona is 13-7 when Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly pitch, and 14-13 when anyone else does. The Diamondbacks are comfortable winners right now, but that’s a hard act to keep up when three-fifths of the rotation is so shaky. If those young pitchers don’t find their footing soon, it might be time for the Diamondbacks to reach even deeper into the farm system for, say, Blake Walston or Bryce Jarvis. — ZB

Baseball News

[MLB] If the playoffs began today, here’s how they’d look


Byes: Braves (1) and Dodgers (2)

Wild Card Series matchups

Mets (6) at Brewers/Pirates (3)

Brewers/Pirates (5) at D-backs (4)

Just missed: Marlins (1 game out), Giants (1.5), Phillies (2.5)

[MLB] Juan Soto is back (and back in D.C.)

After a slower start to the 2023 season, with a .178/.339/.344 slashline in his first 26 games, Soto has looked much more like himself lately – the player Nationals fans saw for the first four-plus years of his career.

Over his last 21 games, Soto is at .333/.468/.627. That on-base percentage is second in the Majors in that span, the slugging is seventh and batting average is 11th. His 198 wRC+ in that span ranks fourth, behind Yandy Díaz (231), Luis Robert (216) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (207).

[fangraphs] Can the Oakland A’s Catch the ‘62 Mets?

An expansion team that year, the Mets started off losing their first nine games. Things only got slightly better from there: they finished with 120 losses, the most in modern MLB history. Over 60 years later, the A’s, after a 10–38 start, seem poised to become the new true north of failure. Through the first 48 games (as of Sunday’s games), this year’s Oakland squad is actually two games behind (or ahead of, depending on your point of view) the ’62 Mets, who won 12 of their first 48 games.