[D’backs.com] Ahmed’s knees, Locastro’s push-ups – D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed was scratched from the grid on Monday due to pain in his right knee. The D-Backs and Giants coiled, 2-2, at Scottsdale Stadium. “It will be day after day,” said D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo. “I just figured out this point in spring training, let him be one step ahead. And I’m only going to keep you posted on his progress in the coming days, not something we are unduly worried about at this point. “An indication that the injury is not severe is that, according to Lovullo, there are currently no plans for Ahmed to have tests such as an MRI. “I just think it’s just normal spring workout … part of the pain all these athletes go through,” Lovullo said.
[Arizona Sports] D-Backs’ Caleb Smith is goalless in rebound against Giants – Arizona Diamondbacks scheduled starter Caleb Smith had six days to ponder his first start of spring training. Against San Diego last week, the pitcher was mostly effective but ran into some problems when it came to Fernando Tatis, who started a grand slam in the second inning to tip the game in the Padres’ favor. Fast forward to the 2-2 draw on Monday with the San Francisco GiantsIt was clear, however, that Smith had eliminated all jitter in the first game. The pitcher threw three goalless innings on the hill, knocked out three batters, and did not allow a single hit. The only flaw in Smith’s performance was a lonely walk.
[AZ Central] CEO Derrick Hall: Diamondbacks approved for 25 percent capacity at Chase Field – The Diamondbacks have received approval this season to host fans at 25 percent capacity at Chase Field, the team’s CEO Derrick Hall said during an appearance on Fox Sports Arizona during the game broadcast on Sunday. Hall said the club was cleared by both Governor Doug Ducey’s office and the Arizona Department of Health. “At first there will be around 12,000 fans,” said Hall. “We will be very appropriately distanced. Hopefully everything goes smoothly, we’ll see these numbers keep going down and we can offer a lot more seats in the second, third and fourth months if we can. “The Diamondbacks played the entire 60-game schedule last year with no fans in attendance. The club played in front of around 2,100 spectators at Salt River Fields this spring.
[The Athletic] The Diamondbacks want Daulton to catch Varsho, and so does he. But at what level? – Learning the catch position is like peeling an onion, which keeps forming new layers, and [Daulton] Varsho has spent much of his professional career mastering the technical aspects of the job. But catching is more than a physical exercise, and last season Varsho opened his eyes to the mental and strategic side of things. He joined the Big League camp for the first time last spring, which in many ways meant a crash course, as the Diamondbacks game plan intended for opposing players. Arizona has pitcher-specific fixtures for each starting pitcher, with information far more detailed than anything Varsho has experienced in minors. Thanks to the pandemic, Varsho wasn’t able to put this information into practice until the end of the year. Although the Diamondbacks quickly called him into the major leagues for the shortened 2020 season, he didn’t start and finish a full game at Catcher until September 4, which he did only four times for the remainder of the season. Still, Varsho found the experience enlightening.
[The Rattle] How optimistic should D-Backs fans be this spring? – After a disappointing 25-35 – roughly equivalent to a 68 win for the entire season – the D-Backs watched the Padres kick off an explosive offseason. Beyond trading with Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, they expanded Fernando Tatis Jr. into a mega-deal and supported other weaknesses. The defence World series The champions in LA who don’t need an upgrade chose Trevor Bauer. The D-Backs, meanwhile, had a quieter off-season and signed Joakim Soria and Tyler Clippard to strengthen their bullpen and Asdrúbal Cabrera to help the bats. When the dust settles, the D-Backs will likely find themselves behind the top two teams in the Netherlands, leaving the path to the playoffs weak. This does not mean that hope is completely absent. The 2021 roster is made up of much of the same team that was over 500 for three years prior to last summer’s fights. The rotation has four pitchers – Zac Gallen, Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly, and Luke Weaver – who have flashed or sustained pitching prior to the rotation in the past. The offense includes potential stars like Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar. If the talent melts, this team could be good. Of course, that level of optimism seems like a big problem for many of these players. So what level of hope is really justified? Is all hope lost or can we see the 2017-2019 D-Backs re-emerge?
Around the league
[ESPN] Rheal Cormier, longtime MLB pitcher and two-time Olympian, dies of cancer at the age of 53 – Rheal Cormier, the long-lived left-hander who spent 16 seasons with the majors and made a notable contribution to the Olympics before and after his time in the major leagues, died on Monday. He was 53 years old Philadelphia Phillies said Cormier died of cancer at his home in New Brunswick, Canada. Cormier owned a neat corner in Phillies’ history: he was the winner of the last game Philadelphia won at Veterans Stadium in 2003, and also the winner of the first game the Phils won after moving to Citizens Bank Park in 2004 had.
[MLB Trade Rumors] MLB adopts modified, credit-based revenue sharing plan for the 2021 season – After the Major League Baseball revenue sharing system between teams with larger and smaller markets was stopped in 2020 due to the pandemic, it will return in a modified form in 2021. The athlete Evan Drellich Reports (subscription required). Smaller market clubs will only get half the normal cash amount this year, the other half in 2022. The league itself will cover payments for 2021 under a loan agreement, with larger market teams expected to pay MLB back. “Expected” can be a loaded term, however, as Drellich notes that some details about this plan are still unclear or can be interpreted based on comments from executives from different teams. A manager of a large market team believes that MLB’s credit is only for visuals (“You can say what you want for the policy, the understanding is that it will never be paid back“) While a league source exists differently.
[MLB.com] Big Papi’s son is chasing his own MLB dream – D’Angelo Ortiz is now 16 years old and just over a year away from high school. He lives in the same playground he has been on since his run. All his life, from the earliest memories, he has had one professional goal – and that is to be a baseball player. “Just a baseball player,” confirmed D’Angelo. “I still have to work, but baseball player, that’s it. That’s all it is “It’s something that means everything to him. Millions and millions had the same dream, but D’Angelo’s story is slightly different. His father David is a living legend who is an icon in Boston and the Dominican Republic – and even by them most casual baseball aficionados. The long shadow Big Papi casts is a D’Angelo – who now stands 6 feet and weighs about 200 pounds – isn’t afraid of it. In fact, he hugs it. Perhaps because he’s the tallest Part of his life walked happily in this shadow, and even walked joyfully.
[Yahoo Sports] MLB is suspending free agent pitcher Sam Dyson for the entire 2021 season as part of their domestic violence policy – MLB has suspended free agent pitcher Sam Dyson for the entire 2021 season and postseason for violating the League’s policies against domestic violence. Commissioner Robert D. Manfred announced the discipline on Friday and Dyson accepted the punishment. It is the longest suspension imposed by the league under the policy for a player who has not been officially charged. Dyson, 32, will participate in a “confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program” overseen by the joint policy board, MLB said.