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Preview, #40: 5/11 vs. Braves

May the fou... er, eleventh be with you.

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ronald Acuna - LF Ketel Marte - CF
Dansby Swanson - SS Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B David Peralta - LF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Christian Walker - 1B
Nick Markakis - RF Wilmer Flores - 2B
Ozzie Albies - 2B Blake Swihart - RF
Brian McCann - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Ender Inciarte - CF Alex Avila - C
Kevin Gausman - RHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

A roster move today, catcher Alex Avila coming off the IL - infielder Ildemaro Vargas was optioned to Reno after last night’s contest. Avila last appeared as a pinch-hitter on April 6, but managed to hurt himself running the bases the previous night. It wasn’t even really running: he was circling at a moderate pace, after hitting a home-run (albeit off Red Sox infielder, Eduardo Nunez). At the time, Torey Lovullo explained it thus: “He was gearing up to get to second base, and when he saw it went over the fence he kind of geared down and felt it grab.“. Lovullo added, “We don’t think it is going to be anything that is too lengthy.” Five weeks later, here we are. Maybe we need designated runners more than hitters...

This returns the Diamondbacks to their normal configuration of three official catchers. So if you’ve been holding your breath since the team optioned Caleb Joseph to Reno on May 2, worrying about what might happen if we pinch-hit for John Ryan Murphy and Carson Kelly then got hurt... Well, Blake Swihart would actually be the obvious solution there, but for the sake of dramatic license, let’s take the team at their word when they say he’s not a catcher. Regular service has therefore been resumed, though it seems a little odd for Avila to miss so long and not have any minor-league rehab games. We’ll see if that affects him at the plate.

This move leaves Arizona with two men on the injured list: Jake Lamb and Taijuan Walker. I’d presume Lamb will be next up, but there really hasn’t been much significant progress to report on that front. while Walker seems to have been steadily chugging away. I’m sure Taijuan will get at least two or three rehab outings though; it’s going to be interesting to see what the D-backs do when he’s ready to return. Who will get bumped, and where will they go? Cross that bridge when we come to it though. For tonight, let’s see if Merrill Kelly can bounce back from his worst start in the majors, last time out against the Rays. Remember: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”