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D-backs Preview #25: 4/29 vs. Rockies

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Exit Yoan Lopez... enter Chris Devenski

Oakland Athletics v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Tonight’s line-ups

ROCKIES DIAMONDBACKS
Raimel Tapia - LF Pavin Smith - 1B
Garrett Hampson - 2B Josh VanMeter - 2B
Trevor Story - SS Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Ryan McMahon - 3B David Peralta - LF
C.J. Cron - 1B Stephen Vogt - C
Charlie Blackmon - RF Josh Rojas - RF
Yonathan Daza - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Dom Nunez - C Nick Heath - CF
A. Senzatela - RHP Luke Weaver - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Activated RHP Chris Devenski (No. 32) from the Restricted List.
  • Optioned RHP Yoan López to the Alternate Training Site following last night’s game.

It’s surprising to realize that Yoan Lopez is already in his fourth season as a Diamondback. Perhaps even more unexpected, since the start of the 2019 season, no pitcher has appeared in more games for Arizona. Last night was his 101st appearance; next is Andrew Chafin on 89, and of the current roster, Stefan Crichton has most, but is all the way back on 64 games. The problem is, Lopez hasn’t exactly improved with age since his debut in 2018.

  • 2018: ERA 3.00, FIP 3.94
  • 2019: ERA 3.41, FIP 5.03
  • 2020: ERA 5.95, FIP 5.58
  • 2021: ERA: 6.30, FIP 5.89

That isn’t the way you want a pitcher’s stats to go, over his age 25-28 seasons. Now, small sample size may be a factor - among those four years, there’s just one (2019) where he reached even twenty innings of work, for one reason or another. But in just under a hundred innings of work (99.1) he has given up 20 home-runs - and has Josh Rojas to thank for it not being 21. Meanwhile, the walk rate has been going up each season as well (1.0, 2.5, 4.1 and 4.5 walks per nine IP). With Joakim Soria soon to return, Lopez could find himself low enough on the depth chart that consideration for a major-league spot could prove hard to come by.

Torey Lovullo notes

Torey is is excited to have Chris Devenski back. He’s been throwing the ball well at the alt site. Torey could not discuss the reason for his absence. Devenski will address the media himself.

Yoan Lopez sent out to alternate site

Yoan is really close. He has some really good outings, if he throws 20 pitches he throws 15 quality pitches and then gets nicked up with one or two mistakes. We want him to eliminate those mistakes and continue to show the consistency that we think is in there because we’ve seen it before. It’s about making quality pitches for an entire outing. The secondary stuff is improved. The fastball location has improved. But we just need that to be a little bit more consistent. That’s what we outlined to him.

Asked if there was any thought to having Yoan develop a two seamer, Torey responded that he didn’t know. He didn’t rule it out, but mentioned Lopez would be focusing on his existing two pitches, (4-seam and slider). Torey paused and seemed pained a bit... without further prompting, he then said:

Look, it’s a tough decision, those are tough conversations for us to have as we’re addressing our needs. To send him down last night was not easy for any of us. We told him he’s going to continue to be evaluated. Even though at that point in time perhaps a little throwaway game, we’re evaluating everything that everybody does every single night. That won’t stop no matter where he’s going, even if he is at the alt site or in the minor leagues.

They haven’t yet determined if Riley Smith will remain in the rotation.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]