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D-backs Preview #123: 8/20 vs. Rockies

Look into Dinger’s cold, dead eyes. LOOK INTO THEM!!!!

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS ROCKIES
Nick Ahmed - SS Connor Joe - LF
Ketel Marte - CF Brendan Rodgers - 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B Trevor Story - SS
Carson Kelly - C Charlie Blackmon - RF
Pavin Smith - RF C.J. Cron - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B Ryan McMahon - 3B
Josh Rojas - LF Elias Diaz - C
Drew Ellis - 2B Garrett Hampson - CF
Tyler Gilbert - LHP Austin Gomber - LHP

Off to Coors Field go the D-backs. It seems like a long time since we were last here. Indeed, it was: the previous series in Colorado was back in May 21-23. Defeat in the finale not only gave the Rockies the sweep, it dropped the Diamondbacks into the cellar of the NL West, where they have remained ever since. Without checking the standings, I was wondering if the D-backs’ decent form since the All-Star break might have given them a chance of climbing out of there this series. Turns out I grossly under-estimated just how terrible Arizona were in May and June. The D-backs come into this one 1412 games back - not in the division, but of the Rockies for fourth. Ouch.

Indeed, the D-backs could potentially be mathematically removed from the NL West title picture this weekend. Their elimination number is four, meaning any combination of Giants’ wins and D-backs’ losses reaching that, e.g. two SF victories and two ARI defeats, would be the final nail in the coffin. Also on the table: the next loss for the Diamondbacks will guarantee a losing season, though with six wins in the last seven games, that string has taken longer than expected to play out. But the good news is, the team now needs just to go 11-29 over the final 40 games to surpass the 2004 team. As a yardstick, they are 19-21 over their last 40 games, so I’m optimistic.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Merrill Kelly is feeling much better according to the Medical Team
  • Kole Calhoun took some live AB’s
  • Joe Mantiply should be cleared within the next 24 hours and then they’ll arrange for him to throw to live hitters
  • Caleb Smith is still with the team and active. They have not yet heard back from the league. If he’s suspended, he will appeal. It’s not known exactly how long that appeal process will take. Different scenarios were discussed in how to manage the potential suspension. One was have him make a start in the coming days before a suspension is handed down. That way he’d need 4-5 days off anyway, so they won’t feel it quite as much. The other was if the appeal runs into the roster expansion date of September 1, they wouldn’t actually be limited to 25 players, they could still have 27, so the impact would be nil.
  • The bullpen is well rested and ready for this series.
  • Coors Field/Altitude: Much discussion of the effects of playing at altitude. A key factor for Torey is getting certain guys days off either in the middle of the series or right after as that’s when the effects are often felt the most.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]