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Brandon Webb Jersey

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No, this is not about a pitcher that gets better with age. This is simply about how a fan favorite and team ace can, in just a couple of years, become forgotten and seemingly disappear.

Brandon Webb’s career started with a bang, debuting in New York in 2003 and out-dueling Tom Glavine with seven scoreless innings and ten strikeouts. He finished his rookie season 10-9 with an ERA of 2.84. He was spectacular.

His sophomore season was a struggle. He battled control all season, leading the league in losses (16), walks (119), and wild pitches (17). In his defense, there was no defense behind him (Alex Cintron and Scott Hairston were his middle infielders) and the team was terrible. Even still, his ERA was a solid 3.59.

After a much improved 2005 campaign, he earned himself a $28 million contract.

With his new contract, Webb became a star in 2006, winning the National League Cy Young award with 16 wins, three shutouts, and only 50 walks. His sinker was considered the best in baseball.

The 2007 season saw him continue as an ace, but on a magical team. The Diamondbacks won their division and made it to the NLCS, all while sporting one of the youngest teams in the league.

Webb also put together his own magic, running a streak of 42 consecutive scoreless innings. I personally remembered the Orel Hershiser 1988 streak and how magical that was for me as a Dodger fan at the time.

I saw a lot of parallels between Webb and Hershiser. Both threw incredible sinkers, although Hershiser threw his a little harder and was called a “sinking fastball” as opposed to a “sinker” because it was thrown harder. Both wore No. 55 (Webb changed to 17 in ’07), both had amazing streaks, and both played for teams that overachieved to make the playoffs (I was in awe of how similar the ’07 D-backs were to the ’88 Dodgers and thought at the time that it was going to be another special championship year. It could have been).

Webb was the team’s best player and was loved by Phoenix fans not only for his performance, but also for his small-town charm and overall likability.

However, something happened during the 2008 season.

It was arguably his finest season, even when the team could not hold it together after a torrid start. He went 22-7 with an ERA of 3.30, and many believe should have won his second Cy Young. He finished second, behind Tim Lincecum.

Amid the success he had, things changed. The team began to negotiate contract extensions for him and for teammate Dan Haren. Everyone knew that it was going to cost a lot, but that he would get one done.

Oddly, Haren got his extension first. Then, strangely, negotiations with Webb were “tabled” for unknown reasons. This was after the framework was reportedly in place for a three-year, $54 million deal.

Since the reasons were kept quiet, some fans started talking about how he was trying to cash in and being selfish. Webb was hurt by this, and even went on the radio to plead his case.

Although he never came out and said it, nor did his performance go down, he seemed hurt by how things were handled.

There was also an ESPN The Magazine feature on him and his off-day routine. It did one of two things for fans. It either made him look amazingly talented that he didn’t work out much, didn’t study video or scouting reports, and played around between starts, or it made him look lazy.

The fact that he did not end up winning the Cy Young award seemed to bother him, too. He frequently mentioned his win total and how no one with his amount of wins had not won the award unless another had that many as well.

The 2009 season lasted four innings for Webb. Shoulder tightness took him out of the game and he hasn’t pitched for the team since.

Not long after this, it was leaked that the reason for his contract talks being tabled was because of abnormalities in his shoulder, meaning his contract could not be insured.

Then, the shoulder issue went from not missing a start, to a few weeks, to no surgery needed, to yes, he needed surgery. Of course, surgery didn’t happen until August so five months passed that were essentially wasted.

The local media and fans wondered why it took so long for the decision.

When his shoulder surgery happened I was reminded again of Orel Hershiser who had reconstructive shoulder surgery in 1990 just two years after his magical 1988 season. He was never the same dominant pitcher he was, but he went on to win another 107 big league games and was a very good player.

The team decided to exercise the $8.5 million option for the 2010 season, citing that basically they had no choice if they wanted to compete as a team. That turned out to be a very poor business decision.

Move forward to 2010 spring training and there was hope that he would be ready to pitch early in the season. No progress was made.

He missed the start of the season, hoping to pitch for the team by June. Then July. Then six-to-eight starts total. Now it is doubtful he will pitch again this year. At this point, it would actually surprise me if he pitches another big league game ever.

The worst part is that there has been nothing physically wrong with his shoulder for months. He just hasn’t been comfortable and has been fighting mechanics.

It hasn’t been a loud clamoring but there have been whispers by fans and media that he is just sitting on his option money. Louder has been the criticism of his mental toughness and dedication (which leads us fans to believe the ESPN The Magazine feature was an indictment of his laziness or lack of toughness).

It really is a shame. Webb was a true ace, a streak-buster, a guy you could send to the hill and feel all but certain of a victory. He was a difference-maker. He goes down, and the team falls apart.

Now he is a dead man walking (at the very least, he should be a dead man pitching or should have been one of the trades). No one sees him the way they once did. He is not exactly despised, but he is basically an afterthought, something puzzling with a former ace.

I wonder what will happen in the future. Obviously, there will be no big contract coming. If he comes back and is the Brandon Webb we all saw from 2003 and from ’05-’08, then we can figure that there was something personal going on with him and the team or something.

From the perspective of a baseball fan in general, I hope that Webb makes a full recovery and can dominate like he once did.

From the view of the Diamondbacks fan, I secretly hope he is never the same because then it would mean all of it was real and not some spiteful way of getting back at the team for not giving him the extension to begin with.

On the bright side, there is a young pitcher in Barry Enright that reminds me of Webb’s rookie year. I may be way off the mark but with two years of terrible baseball in Arizona and wasted money (Webb, Eric Byrnes, Bobby Howry, the GM/manager combo), I’m looking for anything to grasp onto.

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The Diamondbacks have worked out a last-minute deal for Mariners righty Mike Leake, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). Infield prospect Jose Caballero is going to Seattle in return, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Arizona is taking on only $6MM of Leake’s remaining obligations, according to John Gambadoro of ArizonaSports.com.

It’s been a precipitous drop for the 31-year-old Leake, who’s now accrued nearly 1,800 big-league innings since debuting straight from Arizona State in 2010. Leake’s walk and strikeout rates have remained mostly intact, but he hasn’t been able to withstand the league-wide homer onslaught this season, having allowed an easily-career-high 1.71 per nine in 137 IP thus far. His average fastball velocity’s cratered to a career-worst 88.3 MPH, though the always-crafty mix-and-match artist has adjusted: his cutter and changeup, long his go-to out pitches, have each seen an uptick in usage, with the former being deployed nearly 27% of the time at current.

Leake’s park-adjusted peripherals still place firmly in the fourth/fifth starter range – thanks mostly to a string of sterling outings in the latter half of this month – and his presence should stabilize the back half of a Diamondbacks rotation that’s leaned heavily on the mostly ineffective arms of Taylor Clarke and Merrill Kelly of late. After the trade of Zack Greinke to the Astros, Leake will line up with the newly-acquired Zac Gallen, the still-here Robbie Ray, and some combination of Clarke, Kelly, and rookie Alex Young, whose peripherals lag far behind the 2.51 ERA he’s posted in his first six big-league outings.

It’s perhaps a bit chastening for the M’s, who acquired the righty from the Cardinals in a now-defunct August swap two seasons ago, to recoup only $6MM from the some $25MM remaining (through 2020) on the his deal. Caballero, 22, didn’t assert himself as a top organizational prospect for the Snakes, so the swap mostly seems centered around the marginal amount saved and opportunity for the club to insert a young hurler, perhaps lefty Justus Sheffield, into its rotation for the remainder of ’19. Righty Matt Wisler, acquired after being designated for assignment by San Diego, should also be afforded a look: the one-time top prospect has finally flashed the bat-missing stuff that was so often absent from his repertoire in seasons past.

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Jays…..please make some news.

Former Blue Jays’ first baseman Lyle Overbay turns 42 today.

Lyle came up to the majors with the Diamondbacks, he played a handful of games in 2001 and 2002 before making the Diamondbacks out of spring training in 2003, after being listed as Baseball America’s 65th best prospect. He didn’t do great and was sent back to the minors after playing in 86 games. In December of 2003 he was sent to the Brewers as part of a 10 player trade. The big name, going to the Diamondbacks, was slugger Richie Sexson. Sexson only played 21 games for the Diamondbacks, in an injury filled 2004.

Overbay played two seasons for the Brewers before being traded to the Jays with Ty Taubenheim for Dave Bush, Gabe Gross and Zach Jackson. Bush won 46 games (while losing 53) over 5 seasons, Gross played a bit hitting .251/.357/.440 in parts of 3 seasons and Jackson pitched 42 innings, for the Brewers, so the trade could be counted as slightly to the win side for J.P. Riccairdi. And, considering Eric Hinske played first for us in 2005, Lyle was a step up at the position.

The trade was the subject of the second post ever on Bluebird Banter. Marc Normandin liked the trade:

He’s a great defensive first basemen, one of the best in the league. He hits well for a first basemen, although he lacks home run power. He makes up for it with doubles though, and his plate patience is good. Acquiring Overbay most likely means that Shea Hillenbrand or Eric Hinske is on their way out of Toronto. The good news? The Jays may actually get a useful part in exchange for one of them, which would be a plus.

Lyle had a pretty good first season for us, he hit .312/.372/.508 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI in 157 games in 2006. He set his career high for home runs, RBI and batting average, as well as finishing 4th in the AL in doubles with 46.

After the season J.P. signed Lyle to a 4-year, $24 million contract. The contract didn’t help make him a favorite with Jays fans. mark w wasn’t sure about the signing, at the time. In his BBB post about it:

My views are on this signing are rather mixed. At first glance, it appears to be a thrifty signing, as the Blue Jays lock up a somewhat gifted hitter at a relatively cheap price. On the other hand, however, couldn’t the Blue Jays have waited another season, thus hedging their bets? I can’t imagine that Overbay’s value will skyrocket at this point of his career, especially considering he’s a likely candidate to “age quickly” — at least based on the career trends of statistically similar players from the past. In the end, I don’t think this contract will come back to bite them, if only because of its low cost to the organization. And Overbay appears to be a safe bet for at least the next 2-3 years.

Well, it did come back to bite them.

2007 wasn’t a good a year for Lyle. He missed more than a month with a broken hand, after being hit by a John Danks pitch June 3. He was hitting .256/.332/.464 when he was hit, but finished the season .240/.315/.391 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. It’s pretty had to hit ball when your hand is hurting. He did manage to hit 30 doubles. Lyle had a big reverse split, that year, having a .794 OPS vs. LHP but just .676 against RHP.

Lyle bounced back a little, in 2008, hitting .270/.358/.419 with 15 homers, 32 doubles and 69 RBI in 158 games. He set a team record for getting on base 12 straight times at the end of May. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hit lefties at all, batting just .215/.285/.255 against them. It was the start of a bad trend, before 2008 he was able to hit lefties, at least not too badly, after, he couldn’t.

Overbay had a pretty good 2009, hitting .265/.372/.466 with 16 home runs (including his first walkoff homer against the A’s in April), 35 doubles and 64 RBI in 132 games. FanGraphs credited him with a 2.4 WAR, the best in his time with the Jays. They liked his fielding much better than back in 2006. He hit just .190/.256/.278 against left-handers (his platoon partner was Kevin Millar, who didn’t hit lefties all that much better that year).

2010 was Lyle’s last year with the Jays, and it wasn’t very good, he hit .243/.329/.433, with 20 home runs (his second highest total in his career), 37 doubles (his 7th consecutive season with 30 doubles) and 67 RBI. He played in 154 games, Cito wouldn’t platoon him as he was a free agent after the season (Cito had some strange ideas, as a often he was more interested in ‘doing right’ by his veteran players than doing what was needed to win games). On defense, Lyle lead AL first basemen in double plays (150) and assists (101). He had the 1000th hit of his career at the end of June.

After leaving the Jays, Lyle has bounced around, playing for the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Braves, Yankees and Brewers. He retired after the 2014, finishing with a .266/.347/.429 line, 151 home runs and 675 RBI in 14 seasons. 83 home runs and 336 RBI were as a Blue Jays.

Happy Birthday Lyle. Even though your time with the Jays wasn’t a huge success, but you were still a favorite of mine. I do wonder how much better his offensive numbers would have been if he hadn’t broken his hand.

It is also Bob File’s birthday, he’s also 42. Bob came up as a reliever with the Jays and had a very good rookie season, in 2001, putting up a 3.27 ERA in 60 relief appearances, 74.1 innings, but there was some luck involved. He only struck out 38 and walked 29. The .233 BABIP wasn’t something that was repeatable. Over the next two seasons he pitched 37 innings, with a 6.08 ERA and that was the end of his major league career.

Happy birthday Bob, hope it is a good one.

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The Milwaukee Brewers will test you. Look at their roster, look at their pitching staff, and tell me how they’ve put together this September run. They were supposed to crumble like an MVP with a broken kneecap.

It’s easy to fall in love with this Brewers team right now. I maintain that it would be a supreme bummer to see a Brewer squad sans Christian Yelich reach the promised land, but dang it if they aren’t the most fun team in the league right now.
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Take a look at Craig Counsell’s speech after clinching a playoff berth, and tell me you don’t wish he were your boss/husband/dad:

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Counsell’s leadership skills are off the charts. He’s generous with credit, from the owners to the GM to the training staff. Listen to the cheer let out in that room when he mentions the trade deadline acquisitions. You’d think they traded for Robin Yount. No, sir, that cacophonous howling was for Drew Pomeranz, Ray Black, and Jordan Lyles.

Brent Suter got a shout out. Suter has pitched all of 17 ⅓ innings on the year – great innings, like, double-take great – but Counsell makes a special point to thank the training staff and, implicitly, laud Suter’s efforts in coming back from injury.

Counsell credits the player development staff, which, uh, heck yes, specifically for their work with Trent Grisham, the former top prospect tasked with filling the shoes of Christian Yelich. Grisham’s star had faded, but a return to a unique golf grip helped get his swing back on track to the tune of .250/.345/.450 across 165 plate appearances.

It’s not that the Brewers don’t have stars – they have stars. Yelich should probably win his second consecutive MVP Award. Ryan Braun might be the most celebrated superstar in franchise history by the time it’s all said and done. Keston Hiura will get some consideration for the Rookie of the Year award for his .300/.365/.576 effort.

But Counsell understands organizational relationship dynamics. His understanding of system coherence bleeds through that speech. He knows the big guns will get their due. He knows that confidence matters in this game, and as in all workplaces, he understands the importance of recognizing and appreciating the efforts of his employees. Those aren’t hollow words on Counsell’s part. He sees the big picture with this team.
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Brent Suter is not Clayton Kershaw. He’s not Max Scherzer. But he’s 4-0 with a 0.52 ERA at the most important time of the year. Part of what makes Kershaw and Scherzer so incredible is their ability to perform the way they do year-in and year-out. Counsell has created an environment of belief where players without those preternatural abilities can perform like superstars.

I don’t know how else to explain an 89-win team with a +9 run differential.

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As a diehard Arizona Diamondbacks fan, I try to make it a point every night to peruse their minor league box scores to get a glimpse at the future of the franchise.

One farmhand who has been jumping off the page all season is former Arizona Wildcats pitcher Kevin Ginkel, who currently plays for the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate.

Combined with his numbers at Double-A Jackson, where Ginkel began the 2019 season, the 25-year-old right-hander has recorded a 1.80 ERA in 35 innings this year, holding opposing hitters to a .157 average.

You think that’s impressive? How’s this: Ginkel has fanned 63 batters, giving him a ridiculous strikeout rate of 16.2 Ks per nine innings. That is roughly the same strikeout rate as Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader, who leads the MLB in Ks/9, is posting.

Even in the hitter’s paradise that is the Pacific Coast League, Ginkel is dominating. The Lakeside, Calif. native has logged 16.1 innings for the Aces, allowing just three earned runs with a whopping 36 strikeouts.

At one point, Ginkel had a four-game stretch in which he struck out the side in every outing. He recently became Reno’s closer and has recorded a save in four straight appearances.

“What helps me and what makes me successful is working the top and bottom of the strike zone,” he told our sister site AZ SnakePit. “I try to work north to south and that plays with my fastball and slider combination. Using that to my advantage and changing eye levels is critical in my game, so being able to execute your pitches is the whole entire thing.

“I know that Colorado, the ball flies and even at Chase Field the ball can fly some times, and other big league parks you can see on TV. It all comes down to pitch execution and watching the Zack Greinkes and Clayton Kershaws of the world, watching their start and watching them pitch efficiently down in the zone. When they need to elevate, they will and watching those guys work is a thing of beauty. I really appreciate watching those guys and seeing what makes them work. Pitch execution is critical in this league.”

A 22nd-round pick, Ginkel pitched for the Wildcats for one season—2016, the year UA reached the College World Series championship series—after transferring in from Southwestern College. He split time between the bullpen and the starting rotation, compiling a 2.80 ERA in 64.1 innings.

While those are good numbers, his strikeout rate at Arizona (6.3 Ks per nine) was nothing like it is in the minor leagues.

After struggling in A-ball in 2017, Ginkel’s second year in the minors, he made some mechanical changes and has been virtually unhittable ever since.

“I saw a pitching coach independently, away from the Diamondbacks, a couple seasons ago. I struggled in 2017 with injury and overall command, my velocity was down, and I needed to see someone,” he said. “I got in touch with a player and he told me about this coach and I went into his facility and we talked about what needs to work to get my velocity back up to where it once was and he got me on a lifting program, throwing program and I started to see some results right away.

“I knew I was always able to throw hard, in college I could throw mid 90s and so I was just trying to figure out how to get that back. Seeing him has helped evolve my game. I’ve always wanted to be aggressive, I just never knew the right way to do it. I found mechanically I’ve made some tweaks, incorporating my lower half more, which has helped my arm feel better day in and day out and overall command. Developing that and finding what works for me has made a huge adjustment in my game and I didn’t expect to be this successful quickly. Overall, I’m just happy where I’m at in my career and looking to keep progressing and moving forward and I’m excited for what lies ahead.”

It seems the only thing that can prevent Ginkel from making his MLB debut is the injury bug. He missed all of June with an arm injury, and said recently that he is still trying to get back to 100 percent.

But the Diamondbacks just dealt Zack Greinke, are quickly falling out of playoff contention, and their bullpen has been a disaster all season, so it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Ginkel gets a shot to shine on the big stage.

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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley left the team’s April 28 game at Chase Field against the Colorado Rockies after a line drive hit him in the face. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 29 with a sinus fracture.

The team reinstated him May 16.

Continue for updates.
Bradley Reinstated
Saturday, May 16

The Diamondbacks announced they activated Bradley from the disabled list ahead of Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

On April 30, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com passed along comments from Bradley, who noted he suffered nothing more than a sinus fracture as a result of the line drive that hit him in the face:

No fracture of the jaw, no fracture of the orbital bone. I guess I have a slight fracture of the sinus, which I’m not even sure what that is. If this was a playoff race or a playoff game, I could pitch tomorrow if the team needed it.

The Diamondbacks announced they placed Bradley on the disabled list with a right sinus fracture and that pitcher Enrique Burgos was recalled from Double-A Mobile.

The line drive came off the bat of Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez on April 28, and Bradley left the game after the scary moment in the second inning. David Kadlubowski of the Arizona Republic provided a look at Bradley after the play:

Bradley tweeted a picture of himself after the game, commenting on how bad things looked:

Fox Sports’ Jack Magruder reported that Bradley went to the hospital for further testing and never lost consciousness. Magruder also added that Bradley had no concussion but did have sinus cavity swelling.

Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com noted just how hard Gonzalez’s hit truly was:

Fortunately for Bradley and the fans in attendance, things could have been much worse. Piecoro described the aftermath:

Bradley has been a pleasant surprise for the Diamondbacks in the early going and boasted a 2-0 record, 1.45 ERA and 0.96 WHIP entering play April 28.

Given Piecoro’s account, Bradley will ideally continue his hot start. However, it may take some time for him to return to peak physical health and overcome any lingering concerns about another line drive back up the box in future starts.

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Former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez pulled a woman from her car after an accident in a Phoenix suburb Friday.

According to the Arizona Republic, Gonzalez stopped when he saw two cars get involved in a head-on collision after a vehicle jumped a median.

Gonzalez’s friend, Artie Cuffari, tweeted video of the scene:

After helping the woman, the 49-year-old former major leaguer explained the situation and his decision to leap into action:

“I just reacted. I didn’t think about it, to be honest with you. … I was just trying to get the lady out of the car. She was a little dazed and groggy. I was like, ‘Open the door, open the door, the other car is on fire.’ I didn’t know if the car was going to blow up or something because I was seeing flames coming out of it.”

Per the Republic, Gonzalez was informed by police that those involved in the crash are doing OK.

Gonzalez spent 19 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Florida Marlins.

He is best known for delivering the game-winning hit for the D-backs in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees.

The five-time All-Star retired following the 2008 season with a career batting average of .283 to go along with 354 home runs and 1,439 RBI.

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are starting Triple-A Reno pitcher Alex Young on Thursday, manager Torey Lovullo announced after Tuesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The D-backs finalized the roster move before the game Thursday by selecting Young’s contract and optioning reliever Stefan Crichton to the Aces. Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was transferred to the 60-day injured list to open room on the 40-man roster for Young.

“I remember a couple of his outings, I remember a couple things that he did in spring training,” Lovullo said Wednesday of Young. “I was impressed with the short looks that we got. And that’s what spring training’s all about: make a positive impression on the staff. You know you’re not going to make the team, you’re there just for a quick shot.”

Young had been expected to be called up by the D-backs, as 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station‘s John Gambadoro said Tuesday. As of Wednesday, he was still not on the roster, but he had joined the team.

“We wanted to get him here and just get him close to the guys, some new faces,” Lovullo said. “He hasn’t spent a lot of time around a lot of these guys. So just to use that as a comfort day just to get in here and get his feet on the ground.”

Young is a 25-year-old left-hander who has yet to make his MLB debut since being drafted in the second round by Arizona in 2015.

Arizona could use another arm as it has struggled to get quality starting pitching from their fifth spot in the rotation. Top pitching prospect Jon Duplantier has been hurt, as has Luke Weaver. Lovullo told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday that Zack Godley will go back to the bullpen.

Young owns a 6.09 ERA in 20 appearances in Reno this year, eight of those appearances being starts. He has thrown 54.2 innings and has a 1.683 WHIP. In fairness to Young, the Aces play in a hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
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His ERA in eight starts this season is 5.79 in 32.2 innings pitched.

The Illinois native attended Texas Christian University and had a 1.29 ERA in his first season of professional baseball. In nine starts with Double-A Jackson last season, Young had an ERA of 3.91. It was 5.96 in Reno last year.

Crichton, a 27-year-old right-hander, has made eight appearances for Arizona this season and has a 4.50 ERA over 10 innings. This was his second stint of the season with the D-backs.

He was originally acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in April of 2018 for cash before being released in June of that year. He was then signed to a minor-league contract by Arizona and pitched in Triple-A to wrap up last season and begin 2019.

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Stating “I have nobody to blame but myself,” Mark Grace said Monday he understands why the Arizona Diamondbacks fired him from the broadcast booth last season.

The former Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs first baseman faces a March 19 trial on aggravated DUI following an August arrest in Scottsdale.

“I did this,” he said. “The Diamondbacks didn’t do anything. I think it’s important to own this. I own this.”

Grace’s remarks came at the team’s spring training site, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, where the Diamondbacks held their eighth annual fantasy camp.

Grace has participated in the seven previous camps but didn’t think he would have the opportunity this year after the team announced on Oct. 4 that he wouldn’t return to the booth.

Several weeks ago, however, the team reached out to Grace about participating and “I was happy to grab that olive branch,” he said.

“Mark has always been an important part of our family so we would naturally be here to support him,” Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said. “While he still has some legal issues to overcome, we look forward to his future involvement in the organization.”

Grace pleaded not guilty in October following his August arrest in Scottsdale on suspicion of driving under the influence. It was his second DUI arrest in 15 months.

He was initially pulled over for driving a car with expired registration tags. He also was found to be driving on a suspended license and without a court-ordered ignition interlock device.

It is possible he won’t go to trial if a plea is offered and a settlement is reached.

The support he has received since his arrest has been “humbling,” Grace said.

“There’s been so many warm wishes, text, phone calls from these guys, the campers I’ve spent eight years with,” he said. “And from former teammates, fans. My goodness, it’s been awesome.”

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The Arizona Diamondbacks announced after Tuesday’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles that infielder Ildemaro Vargas is being optioned to Triple-A Reno.

A corresponding move will be made on Wednesday.

Vargas, 27, has been a consistent rotation fixture in the D-backs’ lineup, with injuries to Wilmer Flores, Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr. requiring players to move around the field. Vargas has started 27 games at second base and another six at third base.

David Peralta’s potential return could leave Vargas’ services no longer needed as a depth piece. Peralta has been on the 10-day IL since July 5, and his eventual return will shift Jarrod Dyson back to center and Ketel Marte to the infield at second. That leaves Nick Ahmed at short, Eduardo Escobar at third and Christian Walker at first.
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Flores returned from the injured list on Thursday after a right foot fracture had him on the IL since May 21, and so did Lamb earlier in the month, leaving the backup spots in the middle of the infield and third filled as well.

In 69 games and 178 plate appearances, Vargas is hitting .262 with five home runs and 20 RBI.