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D-backs Preview #158: 9/29 @ Giants

Tankapalooza update!

U.S. Soldiers Train In Kuwait Photo by Scott Nelson/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - 2B LaMonte Wade - RF
Henry Ramos - RF Kris Bryant - LF
Daulton Varsho - LF Buster Posey - C
Carson Kelly - C Brandon Crawford - SS
Christian Walker - 1B Evan Longoria - 3B
Ildemaro Vargas - 3B Wilmer Flores - 1B
Jake McCarthy - CF Mike Yastrzemski - CF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Donovan Solano - 2B
Merrill Kelly - RHP Alex Wood - LHP

Tankapalooza update

Five games left, and the Diamondbacks have just managed to pass the Orioles, in the battle for the first pick in next year’s draft. Yesterday, before the D-backs dropped the series opener to the Giants, the Orioles managed to beat the Red Sox, breaking the tie in which they had been locked with Arizona. The loss also left the Red Sox only a half-game up on the Mariners for the final wild-card spot in the American League. Oddly, Fangraphs still only gives Seattle about a 15% chance of prevailing, but if we get the same scores as yesterday, things could get very interesting in Boston. D-backs’ fans who are pro-Tankapalooza wouldn’t mind the Orioles winning again either.

Oddly, over the last ten games, the worst teams in the majors have been the Cubs and... the Padres, both with a 1-9 record. The latter are now below .500, has been quite a spectacular meltdown. considering they were 19 games above even as late as August 10. Since then, they have gone 11-30, the worst in the majors over that period as well, and three games worse than the Diamondbacks’ record in that time, of 15-28. It will be interesting to see what they do this winter. Does “rockstar GM” A.J. Preller double down and push forward? Or is this just the latest in a long line of failed Padres’ attempts to be relevant, where they “win the off-season”, only to lose the actual one?

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks 50-107
  2. Baltimore Orioles 51-106
  3. Texas Rangers 58-99
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates 59-98
  5. Miami Marlins 64-93

Torey Lovullo notes

Merrill Kelly: Since coming back from Covid IL he’s shown in spurts that he’s getting back to throwing like he was before the illness. He’s facing the Giants for the 6th time this season. Merrill will need to land pitches and follow the pitching plan.

Henry Ramos has just 3.50 Pitches per PA in 42 plate appearances. Only Domingo Leyba has been lower for the team this year among position players. I asked Torey if Henry has been over aggressive trying to do too much after waiting so long to get an opportunity: “It’s a natural progression for a young hitter to understand how important it is to see pitches and get back into a grinding mentality... Young players want to come up here and slug their way into the lineup the next day. We’ve been talking to Henry about just being patient , waiting for the pitch you want to drive, and execute.”

Jake McCarthy: What has he shown you? A nose for the baseball defensively. A very capable understanding at bat. He’s versatile. He can hit the ball out of any part of the ball park. he has a ton of bat speed. Has he played CF better than anyone you’ve had this season? Yeah, I think he’d be right up there. Good jumps, good reads, closes right in on the ball. Like I said he’s got a nose for the baseball.

End of year meetings: Torey and the coaching staff have been meeting with each player for 15-20 minutes at a time, giving them the opportunity the express their thoughts. The players have been doing most of the talking. The common theme has been frustration with the way the season has gone.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]