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D-backs Preview #98: 7/21 vs. Pirates

The D-backs remain the only champions in Arizona among the big four sports

NBA: Finals-Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Adam Frazier - 2B Josh Rojas - 2B
Ke'Bryan Hayes - 3B Kole Calhoun - RF
Bryan Reynolds - CF Eduardo Escobar - 3B
John Nogowski - 1B David Peralta - LF
Jacob Stallings - C Pavin Smith - 1B
Gregory Polanco - RF Daulton Varsho - CF
Kevin Newman - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Jared Oliva - LF Bryan Holaday - C
Max Kranick - RHP M. Bumgarner - LHP

And, so, the Suns run ends, just a couple of games short of their first NBA title. It was an amazing run, which made even this non-basketball fan at least pay attention for a bit. I think I first noticed them when they went 8-0 in the bubble last year. I think the previous time I paid any attention to the team was probably back in 2007 when there was a highly contentious series against the San Antonio Spurs. From what I’ve read - by people rather better informed about the team than I (which would be just about anyone) - there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to make it to the post-season again next year. I wonder whether any of the other Arizona teams will join them in reaching the 2022 playoffs?

The Cardinals and Coyotes would seem to have a shot, at least - but I’m not sure the same can be said of the D-backs. With or without moves at the deadline, the team will be losing players this winter, in the shape of Eduardo Escobar, Asdrubal Cabrera and de facto closer Joakim Soria are all free agents. The starting pitching should remain, but it will be interesting to see whether the team exercises Kole Calhoun’s $9 option for next year. If not, it may be a tacit acknowledgement that the team is in a holding pattern until the top tier prospects are ready for the big show, a couple more seasons down the road. Certainly, based on the present record, a quick turnaround for the 2022 post-season seems unlikely.

Torey Lovullo notes

Weekend Rotation

For the first time in a long time Torey has been able to name his starters for an entire series in advance. This weekend’s starters will be:

  • Friday: Zac Gallen
  • Saturday: Merrill Kelly
  • Sunday: Caleb Smith

Tyler Clippard will return for the road trip

Pending Moves: As of this writing several roster moves are being prepared but not yet announced. Torey apologized to the media and thanked them for their patience. With all the injuries, and on top of that the health and safety protocols (COVID Testing) that must be gone through before a player can be activated and enter the clubhouse, it delays announcements and official roster moves pending those results

Asdrubal Cabrera played in an AZL game yesterday and got 4 at bats, But he’s still going to need some more time to build strength and make sure the Hamstring is fully recovered. Left unsaid, because obviously he can’t, but the team may be more cautious with him on behalf of a potential trade partner. Just a thought.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]