|Delino DeShields Jr. - CF||Jarrod Dyson - CF|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||Eduardo Escobar - 3B|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||David Peralta - LF|
|Hunter Pence - RF||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Joey Gallo - LF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Isiah Kiner-Falefa - C||Carson Kelly - C|
|Patrick Wisdom - 1B||Tim Locastro - RF|
|Lance Lynn - RHP||Robbie Ray - LHP|
In case you missed the news, the team has gone back to a regular configuration - seven-man bullpen, five-man bench. With the bullpen no longer as taxed as it was after the series in Los Angeles, Jon Duplantier has been optioned down to Reno. And with Alex Avila already on the Injured List, the team addressed a disturbing shortage of catchers i.e. just the two, by bringing Caleb Joseph up onto the roster to join John Ryan Murphy and
Caleb Joseph Carson Kelly. Yeah, the potential for confusion in my paragraphs for the SnakePit just went critical. I may just call all of them Rod Barajas, and be done with it.
Tim Locastro gets his first start as a D-back, having been brought up from Reno when Avila went on the DL, three days ago. He’ll man right field, with Adam Jones getting the day off instead. Last night’s late-inning hero, Jarrod Dyson, is rewarded with a start in center. Meanwhile, we’ll see if Robbie Ray can walk fewer than the five people he did in each of his first two starts. The last pitcher for Arizona with 5+ BB in consecutive outings was Dontrelle Willis in 2010. He managed to walk thirteen over just 6.1 innings. Unsurprisingly, those were his last two starts for Arizona. Fun fact: the major-league record belongs to Nolan Ryan, who walked 5+ for nineteen consecutive outings in 1976-77. Of course, 13 were complete games.
In Ray’s case, that’s been about the only way hitters have been able to get on base. He has held hitters to a miserly .152 average over his first two starts, but all the walks have boosted their on-base percentage to .349. But probably the most telling statistic is that for all but one of the runs Ray has allowed this year, the base-runner who scored initially reached base on a walk. The sole exception is A.J. Pollock’s solo homer in Los Angeles. Needless to say, avoiding too many freebies would be key for Ray tonight, if the D-backs want to complete their first sweep of the season. Yes, it may only be a two-game series, but it will do until something better comes along...