The Diamondbacks sported a new look on the field Friday night for their series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, wearing their Nike City Connect “Serpientes” jerseys in a game for the first time.
The sand-colored jerseys with caps of the same hue and home white pants were a stark contrast to the red, black, white or white with teal numbers tops they’ve worn in recent times. The word “Serpientes,” or snakes in Spanish, was splashed across the front, with red numbers below that and an Arizona state flag patch on one shoulder.
Caps, T-shirts and jerseys were already on sale inside the main team store before Friday’s game, with fans browsing curiously through the items.
“Pretty excited about it. I know it’s an earthy tone and we’ve got a ton of desert out here,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “And any way that we can connect with our city, our town and our state, we love it. We love representing this community the best way that we can.”
The City Connect jerseys were designed in collaboration with Nike to highlight the franchise’s desert roots, the state’s Hispanic culture and the bond between the team and its fans, according to a statement from the club earlier this week. After Friday, the Diamondbacks will first wear the Serpientes jerseys for home games on July 16 against the Cubs, July 30 against the Dodgers, Aug. 13 against the Padres and for the three-game series against the Dodgers during Hispanic Heritage Weekend from Sept. 24-26, which includes Roberto Clemente Day.
The Dodgers will unveil a City Connect jersey of their own later this summer.
The Diamondbacks made a move involving their bullpen prior to Friday’s game. RHP Noé Ramirez was selected from Triple-A Reno, with RHP Keury Mella designated for assignment.
Ramirez, a Los Angeles native who signed with Arizona as a minor league free agent on May 22, was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 2011 draft, which was led by current Diamondbacks Assistant General Manager Amiel Sawdaye. Lovullo was the Red Sox bench coach while Ramirez was with Boston in 2015-2016.
He appeared in two games for the Los Angeles Angels last month.
Mella allowed six earned runs in 1 ? innings of work on Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco.
“These are the things that happen. It’s a competitive sport and you’ve got to do your job,” Lovullo said of Mella. “We had Noé, who was throwing the ball extremely well.
“He’s going to get the opportunity to go out and show us that he’s ready to compete at this level. We know that he’s done it in the past,” Lovullo added.
Lovullo offered updates on several Diamondbacks currently on the injured list.
LHP Madison Bumgarner (shoulder) threw off flat ground Friday and felt good. Next for him is a bullpen session on Tuesday.
RHP Taylor Widener (groin) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session with pitchers fielding practice. RHP Tyler Clippard (shoulder) threw 15 pitches off flat ground and 10 off the mound.
OF Kole Calhoun (hamstring) got four at-bats in on-field batting practice.
Mired in a 23-game road losing streak and entering Friday with 14 straight losses overall, the Diamondbacks just can’t seem to catch a break, even with their mascot.
Results from a recent survey ranked Baxter (whose complete name is D. Baxter the Bobcat), Arizona’s mascot, as the second-most obnoxious mascot in baseball.
Play USA recently did a survey of 2,000 MLB fans throughout the country and those fans gave Baxter that dubious honor.
Only the Phillie Phanatic was voted more obnoxious.
The site explained its methodology as follows: “To determine our ranking, we surveyed more than 2,000 MLB fans across the country to ask them to rate every official MLB mascot on a scale of 1-5. Ratings were then averaged for each mascot. Among respondents, 59% were male and 41% were female with an average age of 37. Note: the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the New York Yankees do not have official mascots, so they were not included in this list.”
Jeremy Cluff contributed to this report.