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D-backs Preview #120: 8/17 vs. Phillies

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The return of Taylor Widener

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

PHILLIES DIAMONDBACKS
Jean Segura - 2B Josh Rojas - SS
J.T. Realmuto - C Ketel Marte - CF
Bryce Harper - RF Pavin Smith - RF
Didi Gregorius - SS Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
Andrew McCutchen - LF David Peralta - LF
Brad Miller - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
Ronald Torreyes - 3B Josh VanMeter - 2B
Travis Jankowski - CF Daulton Varsho - C
Kyle Gibson - RHP Taylor Widener - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Reinstated RHP Taylor Widener from the injured list.
  • Optioned RHP Sean Poppen to Triple-A Reno.

I hadn’t even noticed Professor Poppen was back, to be honest, though he did apparently pitch two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Widener returns exactly ten days after his previous outing, a no-decision of five inning and two runs against the Padres. Though I guess no decision goes with the territory. This will be his 11th start for the team this year, and his record is just 1-1. That’s “decision percentage” of 20% is easily the lowest in franchise history for anyone with 10+ starts; I think the next lowest is Robbie Ray’s 33%, when he went 6-2 over 24 starts in 2018. At the other end? Randy Johnson (2004) and Curt Schilling (2002) both got the decision in 30 of their 35 starts, an 86% decision rate.

Torey Lovullo notes

Taylor Widener will start tonight. They waited as long as possible until this morning to make sure he woke up and was feeling good.

Merrill Kelly: He has not had conversation with him, but has been getting reports. ”I know Merrill is symptomatic and just grinding through these early tough days”. Joe Mantiply and Matt Herges remain asymptomatic and continue to test negative.

Noe Ramirez threw 1 inning, 17 pitches vs. live hitters, felt good

Stuart Fairchild got two at bats and played 4 inning in RF yesterday, and will play CF tonight for 5-7 innings and get several more at bats.

Luke Weaver: Will start again in Reno on the 20th, and get him up to the 70 pitch range. They have not yet decided if he will require another start after this one before being recalled.

Drew Ellis:Of course I see him competing next year [for 3rd base spot] everybody is coming into spring training and nobody is going to be guaranteed a position”. It sounds like he’ll continue to start 4 out of 6 games. They like his defense but know that offensively he’ll be going through growing pains.

Roster Expansion: Torey seems to like the smaller expansion without so many players sitting in clubhouse competing for playing time, and managing against September rosters always created extra challenges, so this new system will give more clarity.

Archie Bradley: Torey has kept in touch with him via text and followed his progress. He’s very proud of what he’s done recently. He’s looking forward to seeing him and talking with him, but will make sure Archie knows they’re going to try to beat him.

Kole Calhoun: He’s been out on the field doing some light workouts it sounds.....he’s doing a lot better than they thought he would. He’s feeling better than anticipated. They will be cautious with him, given the history, but it sounds like Kole is on track to return sooner than expected.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]