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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #73: 6/19 @ Brewers

The D-backs lose a bullpen arm

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New York Mets v. Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Geraldo Perdomo - SS Christian Yelich - LF
Ketel Marte - 2B Jesse Winker - DH
Corbin Carroll - LF Willy Adames - SS
Christian Walker - 1B Rowdy Tellez - 1B
Lourdes Gurriel - DH Owen Miller - 2B
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Raimel Tapia - RF
Gabriel Moreno - C Brian Anderson - 3B
Alek Thomas - CF Victor Caratini - C
Jake McCarthy - RF Joey Wiemer - CF
Merrill Kelly - RHP Corbin Burnes - RHP

D-backs roster moves

  • Recalled OF Alek Thomas from Triple-A Reno.
  • Optioned INF Josh Rojas to Reno following yesterday’s game.

And there was me, beginning to wonder if perhaps I should be listing Josh Rojas on the chart above. After all, he had recorded as many outs over the past week as Kyle Nelson. But guess we will not be seeing Rojas on the mound, or anywhere else, for a while. It is a bit of a surprise, because since the start of 2021, Rojas had appeared in 321 games, trailing only Christian Walker (34#( on the D-backs. Those were the only two above 300, so he was almost an “ever present”. But it has been a tough go for Rojas this season, After an OPS+ of 107 in 2021-22, his offense has crashed all the way to 69 (nice!) this year. In 183 at-bats, he has yet to hit a single home-run.

It will be interesting to see how the team plays third-base now. Outside of one inning from Geraldo Perdomo, it has been all Rojas, Emmanuel Rivera and Evan Longoria. But both of the latter are right-handed, so no more platoon edge available against RHP. Rivera has been okay there this year, with a .732 OPS against right-handers, though a .356 BABIP is likely inflating those figures. Obviously, Thomas won’t be the answer at the hot corner. Alek has hit .348 with a .927 OPS over 26 games for the Aces, so we’ll see if a spell in the minors helps him rebound in the way it did Jake McCarthy. It should, at least, mean no more Pavin Smith in the outfield, so that’s a good thing.

Ranking the power rankings

After a difficult week for the Diamondbacks, including a pair of losses which ended with Josh Rojas pitching, it would not be a surprise to me if the team took a bit of a step back in the various charts this week. But let’s see what they have to say...

  • #5 (last week: #5) - “Say what you will about Ichiro Suzuki and Fred Lynn — the only two players to win an MVP their rookie year — but there aren’t any reports of them getting MVP chants from the home crowd two months into that rookie season. That’s what happened this week with Corbin Carroll, who has the D-backs holding steady atop the NL West. They’ve got a funky week coming up: three games in Milwaukee, then a makeup game on Thursday in Washington, and then three all the way out in San Francisco.”
  • CBS Sports: #5 (last week: #5) - “ Whenever there’s an unexpected upstart team like the Diamondbacks, masses sit back waiting for the proverbial other shoe to fall. Especially in a division with the Dodgers, preseason darling Padres and even the Giants with their recent track record, the D-Backs holding a decent lead in the NL West made no sense. And yet they are still up 3 1/2 games. They’ve lost four of six, though, which means it might be the start of their demise, right?”
  • USA Today: #5 (last week: #5) - “Starters not named Zac Gallen or Merrill Kelly combine for 6.18 ERA.”
  • FOX Sports: #5 (last week: #5) - “The early favorite for National League Rookie of the Year, Carroll leads all qualified MLB rookies in homers (15), doubles (19), slugging percentage (.592) and OPS (.979) while batting over .300 and stealing 19 bases. His 3.4 fWAR leads ALL major-league players, demonstrating how much he’s meant to Arizona’s brilliant start.”
  • ESPN: #7 (last week: #8 - “The Dodgers might still be ahead of the Diamondbacks in our rankings, but the D-backs are ahead of them in the standings. They woke up Tuesday morning with a four-game cushion in the NL West thanks in large part to a six-game winning streak. By then, they had won 12 times in a stretch of 14 games. That 14-game span saw the D-backs post an .827 OPS, average more than six runs per game and steal 11 bases. We’ve hit the midway point of June, and seven members of their lineup — Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, Geraldo Perdomo, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Corbin Carroll, Evan Longoria and Emmanuel Rivera — have accumulated at least 120 plate appearances and are producing an OPS+ more than 20% above league average.”

Well, that’s a bit of a surprise. Despite the D-backs’ losing week, going 3-4, they have remained in the same spot in four of the five, while ESPN actually bumped them UP a spot. And that was before they took two of three from the Guardians over the weekend, since ESPN publish their list on Friday. Mind you, ESPN also have the Dodgers ahead of the D-backs. After events of the weekend, including the Dodgers’ worst home shutout in 125 years (tee-hee!), I suspect that might change next time we check in.

NL West combined rankings

  1. Diamondbacks: 5.4
  2. Dodgers: 7.2
  3. Giants: 11.2
  4. Padres: 16.4
  5. Rockies: 27.2