Chase Field – The Arizona Diamondbacks (29-21) are in second place in the NL West, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers (31-20) by 1.5 games.
The big league squad is young, and there’s plenty of up and down movement happening as the roster continues shifting.
The latest move is recalling outfielder Jake McCarthy from Triple-A Reno. He hit .143 in 22 big league games in April before being sent down to the minor leagues.
“Going down is never fun,” McCarthy said ahead of his return against the Boston Red Sox. “It’s almost like a fresh start… I always feel confident regardless of what the numbers [say].”
Jake McCarthy is back with the #Dbacks after a stint in AAA.
Says he’s always confident, but his confidence really grew with successes in his last 10 games in Reno. @Sports360AZ pic.twitter.com/hWKWLFmCX4
— Jordan Spurgeon (@spurge_) May 26, 2023
To make room for McCarthy, the Diamondbacks sent Dominic Fletcher down to Reno. For two weeks, Fletcher looked like the best hitter on the team, before cooling off. He was 6-37 with 10 strikeouts on the recent road trip.
“Usually guys get the time to figure it out at the big league level,” manager Torey Lovullo said during pregame on May 26. “I believe he can do that, but that opportunity isn’t there right now. He may not understand it yet, but if we’re wrong it’ll be made right in the end.”
Lovullo says the outfield will continue to rotate through the hot bats from guys on the big league squad and in the minors.
This specific roster move shows you where this team is in 2023. The winning culture is present and growing every day. Young players are learning valuable lessons and improving on a daily basis. Now performance is taking the wheel as the driving force of the season.
Through three weeks, the Diamondbacks were among the worst teams at taking walks. Young star Corbin Carroll didn’t record a walk in his first 16 games. Since then, both the Diamondbacks and Carroll are among the best in the league at walk rate. That is a true sign of progress.
Lovullo is the right manager for this team. The front office gave him the opportunity to stay after years of ‘rough’ rosters with not much for him to work with. Now he gets to use his mentor skillset to take this team to the next level, which is potentially the post season this year.
“I love seeing these guys grow,” Lovullo said when asked about being a mentor. “I’m a player development person at my core. I spent 10 years with the minor leagues… it’s so much fun to see these young guys learn everyday.”
The next step for this team’s evolution in 2023 is a graduation of sorts.
“Just to expect to execute at the most critical time of the game in the most successful fashion possible,” Lovullo said. “Walk up there with the confidence that you’re up for that challenge.”
The playoffs are in sight for the Diamondbacks. Right now the concern to keep showing up everyday playing the same brand of baseball.