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D-backs Preview #64: 6/11 vs. Angels

The most amazing man in baseball pitches against us tonight

Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Justin Upton - LF Josh Rojas - 2B
Shohei Ohtani - RHP Ketel Marte - CF
Anthony Rendon - 3B Asdrubal Cabrera - 1B
Jared Walsh - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Jose Iglesias - SS Pavin Smith - RF
Taylor Ward - CF David Peralta - LF
Kurt Suzuki - C Carson Kelly - C
Kean Wong - RF Nick Ahmed - SS
David Fletcher - 2B Merrill Kelly - RHP

Yeah, I know there’s something called “an NBA playoff game” going on tonight, and that’s probably a more tempting alternative than watching what is, in all likelihood, going to be another Diamondbacks’ loss. But even I might breach my week-long avoidance of all D-backs’ broadcasts for this one, because the amazing two-way player that is Shohei Ohtani, will be starting for the Angels tonight. The man is, single-handedly, an indefatigable argument against the pro-DH camp, who claim that “PiTchErs CaN’T hIT”. Though I suppose you can argue endlessly instead, about whether Ohtani is a pitcher who can hit, or a hitter who can pitch.

On the one hand, he’s batting .262 with seventeen home-runs, for an OPS+ of 154. That’s good enough for sixth in the AL. Oh, and he has stolen nine bases as well. But on the other? Over his eight starts, he has a 2.76 ERA, with sixty strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Ohtani only has two wins, but that’ll happen when, over his last five starts combined, the Angels have scored a total of eight runs. Hey, at least he can’t complain, being part of the problem... He is batting second in the line-up for the Angels this evening. Frankly, I’d not be surprised to see him stay in the game as a hitter, even after his night on the mound is finished, though that’d involve him playing the field. Hey, he has 5.1 innings as an outfielder...

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Madison Bumgarner began his throwing program, playing some long toss today. There is still no time table available for his return.
  • Zac Gallen threw a bullpen yesterday and will throw a sim game on Saturday, targeting 3 innings, 45 pitches. He is ahead of the other pitchers on the IL and Torey anticipates him returning before the end of June.
  • Taylor Widener’s throwing program began a few days ago and he’s feeling good
  • Kole Calhoun feels like he is on a good path for the earliest return possible. We know what that target date is and he is full steam ahead. He’ll. eventually go on a rehab assignment, but he is expected to be ready on 61st day. (He is on 60 day IL since April 28, so sould be eligible to come off either June 28th or 29th)
  • Caleb Smith is starting tomorrow, but Sunday’s start is still listed as TBA, putting some question about Jon Duplantier’s status for his next scheduled start.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]