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Snake Bytes 7/20: Feel The Heat

D-backs on a quest for fire, and to sweep.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks News:

[MLB] Ahmed steps up in Atlanta

After missing most of last season following surgery on that same shoulder, Ahmed’s playing time has been cut back with the emergence of 23-year-old All-Star shortstop Geraldo Perdomo. Ahmed gets most of the starts against left-handed pitchers, with Perdomo playing against righties.

On Wednesday night, though, Ahmed got the call against righty Charlie Morton and managed to drive home a pair of key runs as the D-backs beat the MLB-best Braves, 5-3, for the second night in a row at a sold-out Truist Park.

[SI] Nelson’s gem supported by timely hitting in D-backs win

The offense produced two-out RBI knocks on four different occasions tonight. Christian Walker doubled to lead off the second inning and two outs later Gabriel Moreno drove him in with a single for the game’s first run. After the Braves had tied it up on Ozuna’s homer, the Dbacks came right back with two runs in the third. Jake McCarthy singled with one out. After a line out by Ketel Marte, Braves starter Charlie Morton issued two straight two out walks. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made him pay with a two-run double to left.

[AZC] Ryne Nelson puts Diamondbacks on verge of sweep with win over Braves

And in eight starts since making a mechanical tweak in early June, he has 7.3 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9. Before the change, those numbers were 5.4 and 3.2, respectively. That’s the difference between an above average starter and one of the worst in baseball.

In addition to his mechanical changes, Nelson believes he’s become less predictable. He’s still heavily reliant on his four-seam fastball, throwing it over half the time, but he’s more confident in using the pitch to all parts of the plate. And although he still makes relatively light use of his off-speed pitches, he’s able to use them in a wider variety of counts.

[NYT] Corbin Carroll, Elly De La Cruz to face off in Cincinnati Arizona series

Together, Carroll and De La Cruz offer a portrait of how much a transcendent young player can lift a previously moribund team. Their upstart squads will face off this weekend in a three-game series at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, in which both clubs are trying to shake off what has been a tough stretch coming out of the All-Star break.

Of course, a difficult week here and there could be a good thing for these phenoms — because, thus far, they have made things seem almost too easy.

[AZS] MLB’s playbook to handling D-backs’ broadcasts after Bally fallout

Arrangements to make that change could have filled an entire offseason. MLB had to compress that to 1 1/2 days.

“It was everything from a graphics package, to the truck, to the crew, to how are you going to get transmission done, who’s going to do master control, who’s going to do commercial insertion and then finally how do we deliver it to the distributors?” said Billy Chambers, who started in February as MLB’s executive vice president of local media following 20 years at Fox.

[MLBTR] D-backs place Davies on IL with back injury

It’s been a frustrating season for Davies, 30, whom the D’Backs re-signed to a $5MM deal in the winter. He made just two starts earlier in the season before getting sidelined by an oblique strain that put him out of action for about six weeks. He returned at the end of May and has made 10 more starts but has a 7.38 on the year overall and is now back on the injured list yet again. A 51.7% strand rate is probably making his ERA worse than he deserves, though his 17.8% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate are both worse than league average.

Baseball News:

[ESPN] MLB trade deadline 2023: Hypothetical Ohtani blockbusters

We asked our MLB experts to play GM for nine teams that could potentially pull off a deal for Ohtani, making their best possible offers to land the two-way superstar, and we enlisted Jeff Passan to decide which proposals are worth the Angels’ time.

[BR] Report: Rob Manfred expected to be re-elected MLB Commissioner for 3rd term

Manfred assumed commissioner duties in January 2015 after 16 months as MLB’s Chief Operating Officer. The 64-year-old is currently serving the second of two five-year terms in office, with his current contract expiring on January 25, 2025, per The Athletic.

The vote is expected to occur next week in Washington D.C., and Manfred needs a majority of the league’s 30 owners to approve his next term to continue on as commissioner.