|Ketel Marte - 2B||Marcus Semien - 2B|
|Emmanuel Rivera - DH||Travis Jankowski - LF|
|Lourdes Gurriel - LF||Nathaniel Lowe - 1B|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Adolis Garcia - RF|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Josh Jung - 3B|
|Dominic Fletcher - RF||Jonah Heim - DH|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Ezequiel Duran - SS|
|Alek Thomas - CF||Leody Taveras - CF|
|Jose Herrera - C||Sandy Leon - C|
|Brandon Pfaadt - RHP||Andrew Heaney - LHP|
All told, thirty players have made their debuts in the major league for the D-backs as a starting pitcher. The bar has been raised considerably by the last couple to do so, with Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson each tossing seven shutout innings in their first games. Nobody had thrown more than six zeroes previously, a mark reached by Archie Bradley and Zack Godley, both of whom went on to become well-known Diamondbacks, for one reason or another. But if we take a look at the median across those thirty appearances, here’s what we get: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO. The D-backs went 20-10 in those games, with the pitcher going 14-8 with eight no-decisions.
It’s worth noting that a couple of future Cy Young winners would make their debuts not as starters for Arizona, but coming out of the bullpen. In 2008, Max Scherzer threw 4.1 perfect innings of relief with seven strikeouts, and back in 2003, Brandon Webb finished off a game in Olympic Stadium against the Expos with a scoreless frame of work. Josh Collmenter, the team’s Opening Day starter in 2015, is another who’d first be seen coming out of the D-backs bullpen. But there haven’t been many times we have been able to see such a highly-ranked prospect arrive. Even Scherzer was ranked no better than #66, while Pfaadt was as high as #27 across all of the game in Baseball America’s pre-season list.
After a rough first outing for the Aces, allowing four home-runs in only 3.2 innings, Brandon has settled down. Over his last four starts with the Aces, has a 2.49 ERA across 21.2 inning, with a K:BB ratio of 23:6 and only one more long ball given up. That’s very impressive for the PCL, where half the teams have a collective ERA above six. The environment should be a little more friendly this afternoon in Texas - Globe Life Field has been more or less neutral over the past few years - though the quality of hitters Pfaadt will face is obviously going to be higher. A win for the team would obviously be what we want, but let’s just hope Brandon’s debut is the start of a long, successful career in Arizona.