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D-backs Preview #111: 8/5 @ Padres

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Tankapalooza update!

Tank units redeployed from Russian military base in Tajikistan to training ground near Afghan border Photo by Olga Balashova\TASS via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS PADRES
Nick Ahmed - SS Tommy Pham - LF
Ketel Marte - CF Adam Frazier - 2B
Kole Calhoun - RF Manny Machado - 3B
Carson Kelly - C Jake Cronenworth - SS
Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B Wil Myers - RF
Christian Walker - 1B Eric Hosmer - 1B
Pavin Smith - LF Austin Nola - C
Jake Hager - 2B Trent Grisham - CF
Caleb Smith - LHP Ryan Weathers - LHP

Roster move

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Reinstated LHP Joe Mantiply from the injured list.
  • Returned LHP Ryan Buchter to Triple-A Reno following yesterday’s game.

It has been a very even period around baseball. I checked the standings before yesterday’s game, and every team in baseball over the last ten games had gone between 3-7 and 7-3. Even now, in the top third of Tankapalooza standings, things are even more compact. All of those ten teams have 3, 4, or 5 wins over the last ten. So there has not been much movement all told in the standings since we last checked in. However, the Orioles have reclaimed second spot from the Rangers, due to the latter’s recent semi-competence. The D-backs late meltdown yesterday afternoon has helped them keep their lead in the quest for next year’s top draft pick (pending anything daft like a lottery) at 5.5 games.

Here are the current standings:

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks: 34-76
  2. Baltimore Orioles: 38-69
  3. Texas Rangers: 39-70
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates: 41-68
  5. Minnesota Twins: 46-63
  6. Miami Marlins: 47-62

ROSTER REVIEW

Something in today’s game notes that Jack brought to my attention. As we’ve previously discussed, the D-backs have used a club-record 57 different players this season. I did not realize that including 22 rookies - also the most in franchise history.

  • MOST PLAYERS USED IN A SEASON BY THE D-BACKS: 57 - 2021; 52 - 2014, ‘04; 51 - 2011; 50 - 2016, ‘05.
  • MOST ROOKIES USED IN A SEASON BY THE D-BACKS: 22 - 2021; 19- 2016, ‘14, ‘04; 17 - 2015, ‘09, ‘01; 16 - 2019, ‘07.
  • MOST PLAYERS USED IN MLB IN 2021: 58 - Mets, Brewers; 57 - D-backs; 56 - Cubs; 54 - Pirates.
  • MOST ROOKIES USED IN MLB IN 2021: 23 - Marlins; 22 - D-backs; 20 - Pirates; 17 - Dodgers; 15 - Cardinals, Cubs, Padres, Rangers.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Joe Mantiply was activated a little after Pavin Smith because he needed a day to play catch, streetch out, work on range of motion, etc. But he’s ready to go tonight.
  • Josh Rojas is playing shortstop in Reno tonight
  • Luke Weaver will pitch in the AZL next week
  • Seth Frankoff is starting tonight in Reno

(Long must read or listen quotes coming for a very hot topic)

Torey, is 115-120 pitches just a no go zone for virtually any starter that you have at this time?

Not any starter. It’s a very high number and it’s something that I try to stay away from. I think in years past I’ve run guys up to the 110-112 range. But yesterday was a no-brainer for me. Merrill at 102 pitches , knowing what he’s been through as an athlete that worked hard to recover from a surgery, not just an injury, a surgery last year , I’m never going to put him in a situation to run him up over that red line. He did his job. I want to believe if we were in a different place in time, you fast forward a couple of months or a couple of years with the right guy at the right I would definitely be open to 110 pitches. But I’m uncomfortable with it.

Like I’ve been telling you guys from the start, I’m not the expert in this. I’m not the person that studied this field... I don’t know that information about what’s right and what’s wrong, I just trust the information that I’m getting from people that are real smart, much smarter than me, and I’m going to live by it. And it’s worked for us. I take injuries personally because I can control their output, and yesterday was a no brainer for me with Merrill.

Are you given pre-set limits for how far you can go with a guy? Are you given a number?

Yes. On a given day depending on what the situation is. Yes. You guys know that. Every once in a while you will see me take somebody out of a game at 70 pitches. I will get that information from the medical experts. When I don’t and the governor is totally removed I think everybody starts to feel like 100 pitches is a pretty good number for all of us. But I’ll exceed that. There’s no doubt about it. I’ll make sure there’s going to be an off day coming in or another off day going out, or the pitcher is in a really good spot to give us those 10-12 extra pitches, but 100 is where I try to draw the line. That’s the magic number for a lot of organizations including ours.

Was it your plan to hold guys back with pitch counts early and then stretch it out as the season wore on?

In my own mind when I was getting this information and just sitting in a meeting and I’m just a fly on the wall and listening to the general comments, and I’m not giving any input I’m just trying to absorb as much as I possibly can and learn about what these athletes have done last year and to this year. I’m drawing my own conclusions. I felt very good about letting the race start slowly, and building them up and once they got to a certain point during this season I would have opened up a little bit.

I was probably one of the last managers not to allow a pitcher to go over 100 pitches. I’ve done that a few times now... Everything is a perfect plan.... I guess the old Mike Tyson line, everyone has a plan until I hit you in the face.....well....we got hit in the face with a bunch of injuries early on, so I had to go back to that original thought , I’ve rerouted and reshaped it and it lands on where it’s at today. But there’s definitely some thought. It’s all about concern and care for the health of our pitchers.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]