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D-backs Newsletter

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I know I write about baseball for a living, but I am convinced that the Major League Baseball home run is the most awe-inspiring event that happens routinely in any sport. To hit a home run, a human being must (1) correctly identify the trajectory of a 2.9-inch-diameter spherical object traveling at nearly 100 MPH, (2) ensure that the bat…...

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Jake McCarthy reacts after hitting a double against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field.

Entering 2022, Jake McCarthy was a promising depth piece for the Diamondbacks. He was lightning fast. He held his own at all three outfield positions. He was still only 24 years old. But even then, prospect evaluators made little mention of the University of Virginia product. It wasn’t that he wouldn’t be a big leaguer — he broke into the...

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The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate clinching the NL West division at Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks.

In many respects, the Los Angeles Dodgers are Major League Baseball’s powerhouse franchise. They have won nine of the last 10 NL West division titles, many of them by a mile. The only year they did not win it in that span was 2021. That season, the Dodgers finished second in the NL West behind the 107-win San Francisco Giants....

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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zach Davies throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park.

According to a report from the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Diamondbacks are bringing back right-handed pitcher Zach Davies on a one year, $5 million deal with $3 million in incentives. Some outlets have also reported a $5.5 million mutual option for 2024. Given that Davies just had a 4.09 ERA and 98 ERA+ in his age-29 season, the...

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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches from the dugout before the Diamondbacks play the Washington Nationals at Chase Field.

If you’ve been listening to the PHNX Diamondbacks Podcast over the last year, you have probably heard some people refer to me as “Well-Actually” Jesse. I’ve taken a lot of heat around here for being the pessimist — or, as I might argue, the realist. My co-host is Derek Montilla, after all. Of course I’m going to be the reasonable...

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Diamondbacks pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt delivers a pitch for the Reno Aces.

In 2019, Brandon Pfaadt worked primarily as a reliever at Bellarmine, a then-Division II university in Louisville, Kentucky. Entering 2023, he is widely viewed as the best overall pitching prospect in the Diamondbacks organization, and he could break into the big leagues as soon as Opening Day. “He just keeps getting better and better,” Diamondbacks farm director Josh Barfield said. “First year we’re like, oh man, this guy’s kind of interesting. He can throw strikes, has a pretty good changeup. The next year, it’s like, alright, now he’s throwing harder and the breaking ball’s getting better and…you know, Amarillo is not an easy place to pitch and he does just fine there. Then he goes to Triple A, which has…

Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen reacts after allowing a home run to Kris Bryant at Chase Field.

For the first time since early 2020, there is a palpable buzz around the Diamondbacks. It’s not that the Diamondbacks are favored to win the NL West. Heck, the San Francisco Giants just signed Carlos Correa — the latest addition to a long list of obstacles in what is arguably baseball’s best division. It’s that there is an increasing sense among fans that the next generation of Diamondbacks — including Corbin Carroll, Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Alek Thomas and a plethora of young pitchers in Drey Jameson, Ryne Nelson and eventually Brandon Pfaadt — could usher in a new era of Diamondbacks baseball that is not only good, but sustainable. In many respects, that hype is justified. The emerging core…

Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte could be hurt by MLB's new shift restrictions in 2022.

For the last decade, the sight of curmudgeonly, traditionalist baseball fans clamoring for players to learn to beat the shift by hitting the ball to the opposite field has grown more and more prevalent. Just bunt down the third-base line already, they say. In theory, it shouldn’t be that hard, right? Baseball is a game of adjustments, after all. Opposing...

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Diamondbacks outfielder Jake McCarthy slides into home plate at Minute Maid Park.

Anyone who watched more than a few Diamondbacks games in 2022 knows that speed was one of the team’s defining characteristics. Infield hits, stealing bases, singles stretched into doubles — all were hallmarks of the 2022 Diamondbacks. Granted, not every player on the team was fast. (Don’t be fooled by Carson Kelly’s first stolen base since he was a 19-year-old...

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Zac Gallen gets ready to deliver a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field.

In some ways, Zac Gallen was everything the Diamondbacks could have hoped for in 2022. He bounced back from an injury-plagued 2021 season with a 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA, a National League-leading 0.91 WHIP and the lowest opponent batting average by a qualified starting pitcher in Diamondbacks history at .185. The man once viewed by scouts as a back-of-the-rotation...

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