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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #72: 6/18 vs. Guardians

Carson Kelly and slow starts. Name a more iconic duo

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Steven Kwan - LF Geraldo Perdomo - 2B
Amed Rosario - SS Emmanuel Rivera - 3B
Jose Ramirez - DH Corbin Carroll - CF
Josh Naylor - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
Andres Gimenez - 2B Lourdes Gurriel - LF
Tyler Freeman - 3B Pavin Smith - DH
Will Brennan - RF Gabriel Moreno - C
Bo Naylor - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Myles Straw - CF Jake McCarthy - RF
Tanner Bibee - RHP Zach Davies - RHP

Another 0-for by Carson Kelly last night, bringing him to 0-for-14 since his return from the injured list. In terms of games without a hit to start a season, his 14 AB are tied for eighth in franchise history. Though that’s not even the longest such opening streak this year: that dubious honor belongs to Alek Thomas, who was hitless over his first seven games, going 0-for-16 before breaking out with a four-hit contest. What is impressive is that Carson was even worse at the start of last year. In 2022, you might recall he also had a terrible start to the season, with an 0-for-19 stretch out of the gate. He threatened to surpass Domingo Leyba, who went 0-for-22 for Arizona in 2021 before being traded to the A’s.

In terms of games though, Kelly has a LONG way to go to match the record for a position player. That belongs to likely one of the least-remembered menfrom 2001: Ryan Christenson. He was dealt to Arizona from San Diego in June, and appeared in 18 games before getting his first and only hit as a D-back. And speaking of leaving it late: it came with two outs in the ninth inning of Game #162, in his final time at the plate for Arizona. There is a caveat here though: he was largely used as a pinch-runner (though had only one stolen-base) and defensive replacement, so in a total of 19 games, Christenson had only five PA. He’s now an associate manager for the Padres.

However, probably the worst start to a season as a Diamondback belongs to backup catcher Mike Difelice, also in the 2001 season. He came to the D-backs from the Rays, and failed not only to hit, but even to reach base safely in his first 19 plate-appearances, going 0-for-18 with no walks and a sacrifice. In #20 he was hit by a pitch, and in #23, he singled. It was also his final plate-appearance as a Diamondback. DeFelice’s time in Arizona included a brawl at home-plate with Kevin Young on August 14 (above), and a week later he was charged with assault following an incident at a Pittsburgh nightclub. He was released by Arizona without ever taking the field again for them.

Compared to all that, Carson Kelly still has work to do!