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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #102: 7/25 vs. Cardinals

Yeah, I’m gonna be sitting this one out, even for the return of Merrill Kelly.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Brendan Donovan - DH Ketel Marte - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Jake McCarthy - RF
Nolan Arenado - 3B Lourdes Gurriel - LF
Lars Nootbaar - CF Christian Walker - 1B
Willson Contreras - C Evan Longoria - DH
Nolan Gorman - 2B Emmanuel Rivera - 3B
Tyler O'Neill - LF Nick Ahmed - SS
Jordan Walker - RF Carson Kelly - C
Paul DeJong - SS Alek Thomas - CF
Steven Matz - LHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Reinstated RHP Merrill Kelly from the 15-day injured list (right calf inflammation).
  • Designated RHP José Ruiz for assignment.
  • The D-backs’ 40-man roster is at 39.

Much as expected Kelly, comes back to start tonight’s game, though it’s interesting to see the team opt to designate Ruiz for disposal, rather than use one of the bullpen arms with remaining options, like Luis Frias. Ruiz hasn’t been terrible, with an ERA of 4.43 (ERA+ 97) across 34 games, the same number of appearances as Kevin Ginkel. His peripherals are less impressive though, with a FIP of 5.30, better than only Brandon Pfaadtt among those with a meaningful sample size. He may end up sliding through waivers and being re-assigned to Reno. But does it perhaps suggest the team are looking to free up roster space for a trade deadline addition? We’ll see over the rest of the week.

After enduring every pitch of last night’s excruciating defeat, the invitation instead to attend a family get-together tonight was grasped like a lifebelt being thrown to a drowning man. I’ll be leaving right after work, and probably won’t even be able to check my phone for the duration. I am fine with this, a mental break from the Diamondbacks being no bad thing, as the 2023 bullpen appears to be transforming into the terrible 2022 version. Or maybe it just seems that way. I figured it might be interesting to compare the two and see. Below you’ll find various stats regarding last year and this year’s relief corps, with 2022 listed first. I’ve pro-rated counting stats for the full season.

  • ERA: 4.58 (25th in MLB) vs. 4.49 (24th)
  • FIP: 4.39 vs. 4.28
  • Record: 30-41 vs. 35-29
  • Sv%: 55% vs. 58% (avg: 64%)
  • IS%: 33% vs. 33% (avg: 31%)
  • fWAR: -0.7 vs. 3.3
  • Win Prob: -730% vs. -186%
  • SD/MD: 135/101 vs. 119/78

There was an almost wholesale reinvention of the Arizona bullpen this winter. Of the nine players with 20+ relief appearances last year, most (five) are no longer in the organization. Mark Melancon has yet to throw a pitch, and Joe Mantiple has spent Kyle Nelson and Joe Mantiply are currently the only players with more than 20 appearances in both 2022 and 2023. But the results are, in some categories, almost eerily similar. The Win Probability looks likely to be significantly improved, and there should be 25% fewer losses. But things like the save percentage and inherited runner score rate are basically the same. I’m not sure if this is something a trade deadline move or two will be able to fix.