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Snake Bytes 8/22: Well that was exciting!

Late Game rallies are so hot right now

MLB: Texas Rangers at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks News

Game Reviews

[MLB] D-backs bite back twice to win in 11: ‘This team has a lot of heart’ by Steve Gilbert

“That’s probably one of the best wins I’ve ever been a part of,” D-backs outfielder Tommy Pham said.

Pham was wearing the D-backs “victory vest” while he said that. The vest, which is handed out to the player who most contributes to a win, was well deserved for Pham, who ended the game with a two-out, two-run double to the gap in right-center.

The win was the eighth in the last 10 games for the surging D-backs, who pulled to within half a game of the final NL Wild Card spot.

[Inside the Diamondbacks] Tommy Pham Delivers 11th inning Walk off Double by Jack Sommers

Ketel Marte had other ideas. Facing Aroldis Chapman and his 100 MPH heat in the ninth, Marte said he went up to the plate looking for a breaking ball and got one, driving it into the left field bleachers for a dramatic game tying homer.

After the teams exchanged zeroes in the 10th the Rangers scored two in the 11th off of Kevin Ginkel and once again it looked like all the previous good pitching would go to waste. Starting the bottom of the 11th, Gabriel Moreno was the Ghost runner on second base and moved up to third on a fly out to deep right. After pinch hitter Corbin Carroll popped out to the catcher the D-backs were down to their final out.

Other News

[Inside the Diamondbacks] Jordan Lawlar Has Solid First Week in Reno by Michael McDermott

It’ll be interesting to see if the organization has any plans to promote him to the big leagues by the end of the season. Lawlar’s performance in Double-A was not as strong as Carroll’s, who had a 166 wRC+ in 58 games. Carroll played 33 games in Reno before his MLB debut last August. If Lawlar were to play a similar number of games, his own debut would come the last week of September. So unless he completely tears the cover off the ball the next 2-3 weeks, it’s unlikely we see him in 2023.

Further complicating the issue will be configuring their infield and getting their top prospect everyday at-bats. The D-backs are utilizing a platoon of Geraldo Perdomo and Nick Ahmed at the position. Moving Perdomo around won’t be as much of an issue as he’s already appearing in games at second and third base. Unless the team decides to part ways with Ahmed this late into the season, a Lawlar call-up is very unlikely.

[MLBTR] Diamondbacks Sign Ryan Thompson To Minor League Deal by Steve Adams

The Diamondbacks have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Ryan Thompson, per the team’s transaction log at Thompson was released by the Rays last week following a somewhat surprising DFA. He’s been assigned to Triple-A Reno. A source tells MLBTR that there’s an Aug. 28 opt-out on the deal if Thompson isn’t on the Diamondbacks’ active roster by that point.

The 31-year-old Thompson posted an unsightly 6.11 ERA this season but did so in a small sample of just 17 2/3 innings. He’s notched a 3.26 ERA in a comparable slate of Triple-A innings this year, punching out 30.4% of his minor league opponents against a 13.9% walk rate that could obviously stand to come down a ways. Thompson had been on the injured list with a minor elbow issue but received a clean MRI prior to his DFA. He’s headed directly to the active roster in Reno.

[Inside the Diamondbacks] Torey Lovullo Embracing Opener Concept by Jack Sommers

Lovullo was asked about a rather humorous tweet before the game discussing his recent embrace of the opener concept

The manager got quite a good laugh from this. “First of all, I love that by the way. The people around town they were so mad at me for being so boring. Now that I’m trying to spice it up they’re like, this guy has lost his mind...that kinda makes me laugh.”

Lovullo went on to emphasize he is trying to make whatever adjustments he needs to make to win baseball games. He expressed confidence in the early matchups against the lefties at the top of the order.

Baseball News

[MLB] Raleigh, Hernández key Mariners’ seventh straight win by Daniel Kramer

It might be time to start discussing the Mariners’ increasing odds of not just contending for an American League Wild Card berth, but maybe even a division title. It’s certainly time for the team to continue stacking wins like their 14-2 victory on Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Seattle extended its win streak to seven and put the game out of reach from the get-go — all on a day where Julio Rodríguez was named the AL Player of the Week then had a scheduled off-day. The Mariners sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning against Touki Toussaint, drew four walks, capitalized on two errors and a wild pitch and scored five runs before Luis Castillo took the mound.

[Fangraphs] Who Is the Most Average Hitter in the League? by Ben Clemens

Here’s how I’m thinking about it: this guy is going to be exactly average in as many things as you can imagine. Really, it’s the most average player in baseball, but I couldn’t resist talking about myself a little bit up at the top, and learning new slang is fun anyway. Now, to the task at hand: what does the most average hitter in all the land look like?

You’d think this would be easy; after all, wRC+ helpfully turns all of hitting into one statistic and centers average at 100. But a quick look at some of the guys around 100 is enough to see that this won’t be good as a sole criteria. Steven Kwan has a 101 wRC+, and he’s pretty clearly not an “average” player; he has far below average power but also never strikes out. I’m looking for someone who is average across the board in addition to being average overall.

To come up with this, I first tried a very simple test: using our plus stats leaderboard, I looked for the player whose batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage deviated the least from league average. In other words, I wanted to find the player who looked almost exactly like an average player.

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement: Spoiler Alert - Jonathan India takes the crown in this article. Which might mean Cincinnati fans are in for a rougher Winter of moves than they anticipate. Many want India turned into a solid MLB established starter. But to get that, one of their illustrious SS prospects may be the cost...

[MLBTR] Big Hype Prospects: Schanuel, Winn, Marte, Harrison, Salas by Brad Johnson

We’ve reached the point of the season when prospect call-ups won’t expend their rookie status due to time spent on the roster. It’s still technically possible for such players to pass the plate appearance or innings pitched thresholds.

In any event, this marks an opportunity for teams to offer their young players time to acclimate in the Majors ahead of a Rookie of the Year bid in 2024. We saw similar with Corbin Carroll and Gunnar Henderson last season. Let’s cover a few such players along with others on the ascent.

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement: Winn, Marte and Harrison are the ones in this article I’ll be watching before October. Winn has an absolute cannon and a bat that will certainly play (to what extent is perhaps the biggest question - he was developed by St Louis afterall). Harrison is an exciting arm that San Francisco has been reluctant to move in trades and could therefore torment Arizona for a long time. While Marte may actually be showcasing his talents for a new club to swing in an reap the benefits in 2024 (and maybe the 2025 draft).

[Fangraphs] Julio Rodriguez’s Hit Parade Helps Mariners March Into Playoff Position by Jay Jaffe

You could be forgiven for viewing Julio Rodríguez’s follow-up to last year’s AL Rookie of the Year season as something of a disappointment — the numbers certainly bear that out. Even so, the 22-year-old center fielder had already appeared to turn a corner this month before going on a hitting binge for the ages. Over a four-game span from Wednesday through Saturday, Rodríguez collected 17 hits, a major league record. Those hits were hardly afterthoughts, as they helped the Mariners extend their latest winning streak to six games, a run that’s pushed them into a Wild Card spot.

Rodríguez began his jag by going 4-for-6 in Wednesday’s 6-5 win over the Royals. He led off the game with a double off James McArthur, sparking a three-run first inning, and added RBI singles in the second and ninth innings. Then he went 5-for-5 in Thursday’s 6-4 win against the Royals, driving in five runs via an RBI single off Angel Zerpa, an RBI double off Max Castillo, and a three-run eighth-inning homer off Carlos Hernández that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead. He added a solo home run on Friday off the Astros’ J.P. France in a 2-0 win, and then went 4-for-6 in a 10-3 rout of Houston on Saturday, coming around to score on two of his four singles.

[MLB] The young Dodgers starter who is comparable to deGrom, Cole by Brent Maguire

Los Angeles’s next development success story might have arrived. Bobby Miller, the Dodgers’ No. 2 overall prospect and No. 24 MLB prospect entering the season, made his MLB debut on May 24 in Atlanta. From the get-go, Miller stepped in as a valuable member of the rotation and has a 3.70 ERA and 1.8 WAR in 75 1/3 innings. After a rough four-game stretch that started in June, Miller has dominated with a 2.59 ERA and 3.17 FIP in his last six starts.

What’s perhaps most notable about Miller is his otherworldly stuff that has been abundantly clear and is backed by numbers that are comparable to the elite of elite starting pitchers. Here’s more on Miller’s stuff that has put him in prestige company in terms of pure stuff from a starting pitcher and why the sky might be the limit for the 24-year-old.

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement: Oh look... Yet ANOTHER young Dodger arm with a high ceiling. We just have to hope the overall better talent in the Arizona lineup can cause more Miller mess-ups (patent pending) than previous iterations of the Diamondbacks’ lineup caused the likes of Clayton Kershaw.