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D-backs Preview #56: 6/1 vs. Mets

Hello, June

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2019 Photo by Romina Amato/Red Bull via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jonathan Villar - 3B Josh Rojas - 2B
Francisco Lindor - SS Ketel Marte - CF
Pete Alonso - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Dominic Smith - LF David Peralta - LF
Tomas Nido - C Pavin Smith - 1B
Billy McKinney - RF Josh Reddick - RF
Jose Peraza - 2B Stephen Vogt - C
Mason Williams - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Marcus Stroman - RHP Caleb Smith - LHP

Hello, June. Here’s hoping you are a bit friendlier than May, though that won’t be difficult. It won’t be an easy start, either. The D-backs begin with eight games, four against division leaders (the Mets and Athletics) and the other four on the road against the 29-25 Brewers. There’s then a brief pause for the Angels... And then sixteen straight against winning teams, in the shape of the Giants, Dodgers, Brewers, Padres and Cardinals. If anything, I’d say the June schedule is perhaps even tougher than the May one. For the record, the 2004 D-backs went 10-17 in June, before their wheels fell off completely in July. But if Arizona can get ten wins this month, I think I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

This evening’s alternative to the D-backs game. Cruella. This is one of Mrs. SnakePit’s choices, so my attention may well drift elsewhere. The fact this supposed $200 million movie is going straight to streaming is a huge red flag. I don’t think I’ve liked any of those which have suffered that fate on HBO, e.g. WW 1984 through Godzilla vs. Kong to Mortal Kombat, and Disney+ has been no better, with both Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon being less than stellar. The point of a Cruella prequal, making her a sympathetic figure, largely escapes me. She’s SUPPOSED to be a villain, f’heaven’s sake. We’ll see, but I am not expecting anything as good as the first Maleficent, at least.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Zac Gallen threw a 30 pitch bullpen today, threw all his pitches and felt good. If there are no negative after effects he’ll throw another bullpen on Friday. There will be further imaging in the coming weeks as they try to ramp him up. It sounds like he is still at least 3-4 weeks away.
  • Rotation starters have not been named beyond tomorrow, (Bumgarner) They are still TBA for the 4 games in Milwaukee and have not yet been firmed it up.
  • Domingo Leyba’s rough start: ”A little bit of hustle to his swing, hustle in a way to me looking one dimensional to one pitch in one spot. I think good hitters, as he’s shown that he’s capable of being , are able to follow the baseball, follow the game plan and not be so one dimensional in showing one direction. It’s about hitting balls the other way, seeing the ball as long as possible, about changing your approach pitch to pitch, with the mindset to do damage when the pitch is in the right zone. As a young player goes, he’s trying to just do so much I think to impress rather than just going up there and controlling the at bat.

I get the most fired up when I see young players continue their game planning, their stubbornness, and their routines when they get called up to the big leagues. I don;’t necessarily like it when young players come up here and try to do too much. The ones that stand out to me more than any others are the ones that are themselves immediately.

  • Christian Walker is fine health wise. Torey is playing matchups and feels that tomorrow is a better matchup for him. He and Pavin Smith will continue to split time at first base. Asked if Pavin Smith’s play has anything to do with slow playing Walker , and whether it’s a luxury or a complicating factor he said:

I think the more good players you have the bigger the luxury. They’re both very good players and they’re both going to play. We notice that Pavin is carving his way into playing every day, or playing a lot, just about every day . We don’t want that to stop. We feel like there’s going to be a good combination between he and Christian... we feel like they can complement each other and continue getting a ton of reps, a ton of at bats.

[NOTE: 70-75% OF pitches thrown in the majors are from right handed pitchers. The above sounds like a lot of words to say they are now in a platoon and the lefty is going to get the bulk of the playing time, although there are a few games with the DH in the AL coming up on the schedule too]

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]