Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is mixing up his pitching rotation. He’ll flip-flop left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray and righty Zack Godley, giving Godley the Friday start against the Mariners and Ray the Saturday start.
“We just liked the way it looked, whether it be short term or long term, it was something we wanted to look at,” Lovullo said.
The impending switch wasn’t fully unexpected. Lovullo had already let on that he was mulling the change when asked about it on Sunday in San Diego.
“It is about matchups, for sure matchups,” he said Sunday morning. “Everybody is eager, healthy, wants to pitch, but I think what we’re trying to do with some of the off days is maneuver the rotation into the best situation for us moving forward to help us win games with certain teams with certain matchups.”
That matchup could be less about the upcoming series, and more about lining up Ray next week for a team he’s had success against in the past: the Dodgers.
Ray hasn’t faced the Dodgers yet this season, but he posted an ERA of 2.27 in five starts against the division rivals last year.
Additionally, Lovullo saw one other benefit for Ray, who will have some additional time to work on mechanics.
“It’s also going to give Robbie an extra day to work on the side with (pitching coach) Mike Butcher,” Lovullo said. “So it was a combination of a couple of things. Robbie’s throwing the ball well, he feels great. There’s no injury here whatsoever, so I don’t want anyone to look beyond what I’m saying here.”
Dyson taking next steps in rehab
Center fielder Jarrod Dyson is continuing his rehab of a right groin strain. Lovullo said that he’s back to throwing, hitting and fielding but still looking to add in a few other exercises before returning.
“He’s going to mix in some turns, short turns that arch around the grass and the dirt of the infield,” Lovullo said. “There’s a couple of areas that I know he’s concerned with: drop-step and explosive movements that go with turning and running backwards to field a fly ball. He hasn’t done that yet.”
Lovullo thinks adding in those movements will come shortly, but he’s wary of pushing too hard.
“That lower core injury is a tough injury to come back from, especially when you’re moving at the pace that he is,” he said. “We just didn’t want him to take any steps backwards.”
Marathon winner tries hand at pitching
Though they have sole lead of first in the NL West, the Diamondbacks emphasized over and over again on Tuesday that the race is far from over.
If anyone knows about weathering ups and downs for the long haul, it’s Desiree Linden. In April, Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.
The Arizona State alum was at Chase Field on Tuesday to throw out a ceremonial first pitch on ASU Night, hoping years of playing fetch had prepared her for the moment.
“I have two retrievers, and I throw the ball all the time for them, so I’m leaning back on that,” she said. “I grew up playing softball for a little while, but the bad news is I was not very good, so I started running track.”
The switch to track certainly worked out well, as her 2:39:55 winning time in the Boston Marathon reflects.
“That’s the race that made me fall in love with the marathon, so it was like full circle,” she said. “It felt like my own course and it was a really special day.”
- Shelby Miller threw out to 75 feet on Tuesday. Lovullo reported Miller was “feeling very, very good” afterward and found it to be an encouraging sign.
- The Diamondbacks announced Tuesday that they have extended their player development contract with Single-A Advanced Visalia of the California League for two years, or through the 2020 season. The Visalia Rawhide have been affiliated with the Diamondbacks since 2007.