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D-backs Preview #106: 8/1 vs. Dodgers

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One first round pick signs, so let's look at where the D-backs might be in 2022.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DODGERS DIAMONDBACKS
Mookie Betts - 2B Nick Ahmed - SS
Chris Taylor - CF Ketel Marte - CF
Justin Turner - 3B Drew Ellis - 3B
Albert Pujols - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
Corey Seager - SS Josh Reddick - RF
AJ Pollock - LF Jake Hager - 2B
Austin Barnes - C Daulton Varsho - LF
Billy McKinney - RF Bryan Holaday - C
Julio Urias - LHP Caleb Smith - LHP

Into August, so time for another Tankapalooza update. The Diamondbacks have been playing better of late. They are 6-4 over their last ten games, tied with the Orioles for the best record over that time among the bottom six clubs. Baltimore's recent run of success has cost them second spot. This now belongs to the Rangers, 2-8 over the same time; one of those wins came as they split a pair of games with the D-backs earlier this week. As a result, they are now half a game worse than Baltimore, but Arizona still has a comfortable lead, sitting 4.5 games ahead of Texas. Here's the current standings in the race for Elijah Green next July:

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks 33-72
  2. Texas Rangers 37-67
  3. Baltimore Orioles 37-66
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates 40-64
  5. Minnesota Twins 44-61
  6. Miami Marlins 44-60

Torey Lovullo notes

Jake Hager is in the lineup at 2b today. Asked what positions the career minor league infielder can play (28 yrs old, 9 years, .696 OPS). Torey said “All of them, every single one of them. SS, 2B, 3B, corner outfield. He’s been very versatile throughout his career... I don’t think he can catch.” Torey also confirmed that Hager will be the primary backup shortstop to Nick Ahmed

Contact Tracing Group: (Pavin Smith, Riley Smith, Joe Mantiply) They continue to be tested as part of the protocol but Torey could not indicate if there’s any chance they could make it back before the 7-day maximum for contact tracing IL. He did not say if any of those subsequent tests have come back positive.

Ketel Marte will exclusively start games in centerfield. It’s possible in late innings he may need to pick up some time in the infield and he took grounders at shortstop yesterday, but all of his starts will come in CF. Said Lovullo about Marte’s return: “He walked into the clubhouse yesterday and I took a deep breath and thought, hey he’s here. He’s back in the facility, he’s back in the building, and he’s healthy. When I exhaled it felt pretty good. He brings a certain presence to this lineup, he brings a certain presence to this clubhouse. He is one of the top players in the National League when he’s healthy. Having him back is a very good feeling for all of us.”

Cooper Hummel: Torey had heard about his cycle from yesterday, but only knows what the front office has told him. ”OPS machine, obviously able to see pitches, understand how to hit in counts, able to slug.”

How do you view the last two months? We were one game under .500 for the month of July.. We can’t unravel what happened in May and June, we can just keep ,moving forward every single day and play our best baseball. As the calendar month changes we want to win this month... When the D-backs beat the D-backs, that’s where I draw the line.”

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]