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D-backs Preview #81: 6/29 @ Cardinals

The half-way point in the season: A. Young departs, and A. Young arrives.

St Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - RF Tommy Edman - RF
Pavin Smith - 1B Dylan Carlson - CF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
David Peralta - LF Nolan Arenado - 3B
Josh VanMeter - 2B Tyler O'Neill - LF
Josh Reddick - CF Yadier Molina - C
Stephen Vogt - C Paul DeJong - SS
Nick Ahmed - SS Edmundo Sosa - 2B
Caleb Smith - LHP Carlos Martinez - RHP

Roster move

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled INF/OF Andrew Young from Triple-A Reno.
  • Optioned LHP Alex Young to Reno following last night’s game.

Young (no... the other one.... Alex) had been one of the most regular relievers this year for Arizona: his 31.2 innings trailed only Taylor Clarke and Riley Smith out of the bullpen in 2021. He was the last man with an unbroken streak as a reliever for Arizona this season. Joakim Soria and Riley Smith are still here from the Opening Day bullpen. But Smith spent some time in the rotation, where he made five starts, and Soria missed a month with a calf strain. Here’s where those eight Opening Day relievers are now:

  • Taylor Clarke - 10-day IL
  • Stefan Crichton - DFA’d off 40-man roster
  • Chris Devenski - 60-day IL
  • Kevin Ginkel - Optioned
  • Yoan López - Traded to Atlanta
  • Riley Smith - Active
  • Joakim Soria - Active
  • Alex Young - Optioned

Given the events of last night, it does seem a bit odd to swap a reliever for a position player, and drop down to a 7-man bullpen. At times, it feels like the roster moves this year have been some kind of odd performance art, where the viewer has to try and work out what message is being sent. Someone needs to check the media sessions, and see if Torey Lovullo is blinking in Morse code or something. Anyway, Young (no... the other one... Andrew) had appeared in 26 games this season, and is best-known for going 4-for-10 through May 12... with all four hits being home-runs. But it was kinda downhill from there: 3-for-24 with 13 K’s thereafter. We’ll see if he does better this time.

Torey Lovullo notes

Bullpen availaibility

I asked Torey to detail for us the process for determining if a pitcher is available or not.

We have a really strong process here. The medical team works extremely hard on gathering information and it’s built around how many times somebody is up in the bullpen, how many warmup tosses they take, their overall workload, their built in workload over a 5 day period, over a 10 day period, the total number of pitches thrown in a game and it spits out an equation.

I rely on that, I believe in that, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist, I’m a baseball manager. If you ask me how to pick up ground balls and throw the ball across the infield I’ll be o.k. there. So I defer to the people that have studied this and worked extremely hard at it. Given the fact that we’ve had so many injuries I’m not even willing to toe the line of somebody that is borderline at this point, right now, to put them into a baseball game. I’m trying to stay ahead of it the best that I can. I’m trying to utilize the guys that are available and strong. My mindset has always been if somebody is red lined and he’s tired, is 70% of him better than 100% of somebody else? I’ll always take the 100% of somebody else. I believe in that because we have good big league talent.

There’s different variables, there are different things that are adding up and if we let it go into a player’s hands he’s always going to tell me that he’s ready to go. And that’s just not good enough for me. Because I’m just not into, nor will I ever be into hurting somebody and asking them to pause their career and spend time on the disabled list. That’s not who I am in my core, and I’ll never be that guy.

Nick Piecoro asked: How often does a situation like last night pop up and we just aren’t even really aware of it, that you just don’t have very many options , you end up getting through a game, and it just goes unnoticed?

It happens way more than you guys realize. It showed itself last night because of the pinch hitting situation. We’ve been right up against it at times. We’ve had situations like this pop up at times that you guys have never questioned because we finished the game the way we wanted. Yesterday we were adding up pitches, we knew we had 70 pitches from Faria, we had 80 from Alex Young, we felt that getting 150 pitches from those two guys was going to bridge us to the back end of the bullpen that was strong and ready. So that was part of the equation. But we do this all the time. This is not uncommon. It just shows up every once in a while.

I promise you, (chuckles a bit) that I’m not that goofy, I’m not that stupid, I know I’ve quoted one of my favorite managers before, I didn’t get stupid overnight. I understand where everybody is going and circling the wagons with this thought, This is part of the game and will continue to be part of the game. Having highlighted what I just said and never wanting to risk somebody’s injury potential, I won’t come off of this.

Torey mentioned that Castellanos had thrown 60 pitches on Friday and was right on that borderline. While he normally wouldn’t reveal anything before a game due to competitive advantage issues, he said they were fully locked and loaded for tonight.

Health Updates:

  • Carson Kelly caught a couple of bullpens and continues to work on range of motion. He is not throwing, glove flipping the ball to a coach standing by. Kelly had a chip fracture, not a displacement, so he may not require the typical 4-6 weeks for bone healing required with a displaced fracture. His progress will be determined by tolerance. When he is asymptomatic and doesn’t have pain he can resume baseball activities
  • Taylor Widener had a rough line from his rehab start, but he “feels fine”
  • Kole Calhoun hit two homers last night, played 5 innings. He will play again tonight. Torey would still not commit to Kole being back by the home stand, but it sounds promising.
  • Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Clippard both threw in sim games with no reported issues
  • Luke Weaver and Taylor Clarke started playing catch from 60-90 feet.
  • A beaming and laughing Eduardo Escobar crashed the ZOOM via Zach Buchanan’s phone right at the end to greet Torey. (Zach was down on the field during pregame workouts) I’m gonna miss Eduardo a lot if/when he’s traded.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]