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D-backs Preview #85: 7/3 vs. Giants

Maybe a split of the series? It’s partly in the hands of Jake Faria

MLB: JUN 28 Diamondbacks at Cardinals

Today's Lineups

LaMonte Wade - 1B Nick Ahmed - SS
Thairo Estrada - 3B Josh Rojas - 2B
Mike Yastrzemski - RF Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
Alex Dickerson - LF Christian Walker - 1B
Brandon Crawford - SS Pavin Smith - CF
Donovan Solano - 2B David Peralta - LF
Steven Duggar - CF Josh Reddick - RF
Curt Casali - C Daulton Varsho - C
Sammy Long - LHP Jake Faria - RHP

Roster move

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Selected C Bryan Holaday from Triple-A Reno. He will wear No. 28.
  • Placed RHP Zac Gallen (right hamstring strain) on the 10-day injured list.

The Diamondbacks have 61 losses through 84 games. Only the 2003 Tigers have had more (64) to this point in the season in the past 75 years. Right now, the 2021 D-backs are tied with the 1962 Mets and 1952 Pirates, and the last National League team with a worse record was the 63-loss Phillies in 1945. It’s interesting that the era of the TRULY dreadful team seems to have passed - at least in our league. Of the dozen NL teams with 109 or more losses since the 19th century, only one was in the past fifty years - that, of course, was the 111-loss Diamondbacks in 2004. However, the dozen AL teams with 109+ losses include three in the last decade: the 2013 Astros (111), 2018 Orioles (115) and 2019 Tigers (114).

But it does seem unlikely there will ever be a team again as bad as the likes of the Cleveland Spiders - even if it might be highly profitable for such an endeavor. You could roll out a team for of minimum salary players for less than $20 million, and even if nobody at all came to see them, you’d likely turn a profit just based on your share of national income and other revenue sharing. There have been a couple of apparent efforts to come close. Those 2013 Astros had an Opening Day payroll of $22 million. Is there perhaps more pressure on teams to win these days? I do suspect even the relatively hands-off Rob Manfred might draw the line at such an obvious exercise in profiteering.

Zac Gallen notes

Zac Gallen spoke to the media and said that he had a Mild, Grade 1 strain of his “lateral” Hamstring. (He wasn’t sure of the correct medical terminology). He feels ok walking around, there is no pain or grabbing. After the ZOOM session with Zac the team published the roster move to put him on the IL and call up catcher Bryan Holaday

Zac first felt the injury on the pitch prior to when he dropped to the ground and subsequently came out of the game. He dropped down because he thought there might be a throw from Vogt down to second base. He felt frustration in the moment though having just come off injury.

He didn’t really have a good explanation for why he walked several batters and got hit around a bit. He felt like he had good stuff, and liked the way the ball was coming out of his hand. He said it felt crisp. But he was just missing in key counts and having a hard time putting guys away with two strikes.

Torey Lovullo notes

Torey was late to ZOOM today, and then spoke with the Media for a long time, with much of the focus on injuries and how they’re being handled. No time table was offered for Zac, (of course) but he said a couple times he feels like Zac has shown the ability to recover quickly in the past.

He was challenged with his previous statements such as when he said that said that Madison Bumgarner had dodged a bullet, but then missed over a month anyway. He said he always chooses to be optimistic when answering questions, but he can only give us the information he’s given at the time.

Asked if Gallen was suffering from what amounts to cascade injuries, (first broken elbow, then arm/elbow soreness, now the hamstring) he said he did not feel they were related. He was pushed on whether Zac should be shut down for the year in a lost season, and he said they’re not there yet.

Asked about Eduardo Escobar’s absence from the lineup today Torey said he was day to day, but available off the bench. Previously Torey said that Eduardo would get a day off either Sunday or Tuesday in tandem with the off- day Monday, but things “have changed”. (I noticed that Eduardo was still running at less than normal gait when he had to slide into home last night and did not come up smiling like he usually does in that kind of a situation)

Adding the third catcher Bryan Holaday gives Torey some additional game flexibility. He hasn’t worked out who will catch when yet, but he’ll get an opportunity. Daulton Varsho will possibly play more outfield as a result. Torey still wants to give him at bats. Regarding Varsho’s struggles at the plate:

There’s a couple different layers of where he’s at for me. I can build in excuses for him and say that he’s in this particular place because of this reason, but I think fundamentally his swing at times earlier in the year …..wasn’t necessarily fundamentally sound. But [Now] his hand position, his balance, his bat speed, just showing certain components of being under control I think are going to translate this time around. Even though the results haven’t been there, I know he got a base hit last night. I think he’s going to continue learning and growing.

The other topic covered was his frustration over last night’s missed popup. The team was working on popup drills in practice today. Asked if he had thought about benching anybody as a result of these miscues, he said no, not yet.

Torey Lovullo and Zac Gallen audio [or link]