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Preview, #119: 8/12 @ Rockies

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A big “Hello!” to the newest Diamondback, local kid Josh Rojas.

Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS ROCKIES
Jarrod Dyson - RF Charlie Blackmon - RF
Ketel Marte - CF Trevor Story - SS
Eduardo Escobar - 2B Daniel Murphy - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Jake Lamb - 3B Ryan McMahon - 2B
Josh Rojas - LF Raimel Tapia - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Ian Desmond - LF
Carson Kelly - C Tony Wolters - C
Merrill Kelly - RHP Peter Lambert - RHP

As Jack noted earlier today, the team called up Josh Rojas, who has been lighting Reno on fire since his arrival in the Greinke trade from the Astros. He is batting .514 - that’s not a typo, he is 18-for-35 - with a 1.518 OPS and 14 RBI in eight games for the Aces. Of course, we’ve seen people post insane stats in Reno before, and not translate them to the major-league. I needn’t draw you a Cuban-shaped picture. And these numbers were also subject to the vagaries of small sample size. But I’d rather we see whether he’s the real deal, than give the at-bats to someone who definitely will not be part of the team’s long-term future.

And the Diamondbacks have certainly wasted no time, putting Rojas right into the starting line-up against the Rockies, for his major-league debut. I think it’s great for Rojas to not just be a local kid - as listed in Jack’s article, he’s only the tenth Arizona-born player to appear for the team. But he may be the first young enough to have grown up a Diamondback FAN. The last Arizona-born player was Tom Wilhelmsen, and he was already 14 when the D-backs played their first game. In contrast, Rojas was aged three, and probably doesn’t remember a time when the Diamondbacks weren’t around. It’s a salutary reminder that they are still very young in franchise terms.

Hopefully, this part of the road trip will help cure what ailed the Diamondbacks over the weekend in Los Angeles. For if we have as many problems getting hits with runners in scoring position in Coors Field, as we did at Dodger Stadium, then we have a REAL issue. The Arizona offense has now been hitless over their last seventeen at-bats with RISP, dating back to the ninth inning of last Wednesday’s victory over the Phillies. That’s going to have to fix itself, and if Merrill Kelly could avoid sucking, that’d help. He is now 0-6 over his last nine starts, with a 5.84 ERA over that time - and it has been considerably worse of late. MLB hitters seem to have adjusted to him; he now need to adjust back.