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Larry Andersen Jersey
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PHOENIX (AP) — For the first time in years Larry Andersen Jersey , the Arizona Diamondbacks begin spring training without Paul Goldschmidt as the quiet, powerful anchor of the team.A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin won’t be there, either.Times are changing for the Diamondbacks, who have significant holes to fill, to say the least.“I feel like it’s going to be a unique experience for all of us, myself included,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “He (Goldschmidt) has been there every day I’ve been manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but it’s probably going to take a minute or two to absorb that he’s not going to be walking through that door.”Still, the Diamondbacks aren’t calling it a rebuilding year.“We have some new parts and we know that,” Lovullo said. “And as much as it hurt to let some of these guys go elsewhere http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authen...rts-jersey , it’s the nature of the game. What it’ll mean is that we need to be a little bit better and a little bit sharper, and we love that challenge. Players are going to have to step up, and the front office and myself are going to have to get a little sharper in every area.”Here are some things to consider when the Diamondbacks begin spring workouts at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale:NEW LOOK:The plan is for Jake Lamb to move from third base to first. Lamb, coming off surgery on his left shoulder, is a powerful slugger against right-handed pitching but has struggled against lefties. Arizona also wants to shift Ketel Marte from second base to center field to replace A.J. Pollock, who went to the Dodgers. The second baseman, presumably, would be free agent signee Wilmer Flores, who also can spell Lamb at first.It’s a significant transition for Marte, who played shortstop until his shift to second Tug McGraw Jersey , where he was more than adequate defensively.There also are a couple of openings in the rotation with the departure of Corbin, Arizona’s best pitcher for much of last season, and Clay Buchholz.The bullpen was a big disappointment last season. Arizona is counting on Greg Holland, another free agent acquisition, to help in the late innings. The closer role is open, but Archie Bradley is the early leader there.ROOKIES TO WATCH: There are no rookies who figure to battle for significant roles for Arizona, but catcher Carson Kelly doesn’t have much playing time over three years with the St. Louis Cardinals.Kelly, who came in the trade that sent Goldschmidt to St. Louis, could be the everyday catcher for Arizona, with Alex Avila and John Ryan Murphy filling in behind him.Arizona has vastly improved its farm system the past couple of years Drew Hutchison Jersey , with young players such as shortstop Jazz Chisolm and pitchers Jon Duplantier and Taylor Widener rated among the top 100 minor league players in the country.THEY’RE SET: The left side of the ball club is an obvious strength, with Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed and solid third baseman Eduardo Escobar, who signed a three-year, $21 million contract to stay with the Diamondbacks, who acquired him in a July trade with Minnesota.Ahmed improved his offense last year, batting .234 with 33 doubles and 70 RBIs, while Escobar hit .272 with a career-best 23 homers and 84 RBIs in his combined time with the Diamondbacks and Twins.And in left field is David Peralta, who in his best major league season batted .293 with 30 homers and 87 RBIs. His batting average and RBIs led the team.THEY’RE NOT: There are many question marks on the team and pitching probably is the biggest.Zack Greinke returns at age 35 after going 15-11 with a 3.21 ERA. Lefty Robbie Ray finished strong after a bumpy season and is being counted on to help replace Corbin. Zack Godley (15-11, 4.74 ERA) holds the third spot but the other two positions are open with no outstanding prospects.The bullpen seems solid at the back end, with Bradley Larry Bowa Jersey , Abbott and Yoshihisa Hirano. Lefties Andrew Chafin and T.J. McFarland return but the overall quality of that group remains to be seen.Somewhere there has to be someone to help replace the big offensive numbers that Goldschmidt routinely produced.ON DECK: The Diamondbacks’ first spring training game is Feb. 23 against Colorado, the team that shares Salt River Fields with Arizona. Arizona opens its regular season March 28 at the Dodgers. The Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit to Canada. This week, Detroit becomes to bridge that the Chicago Cubs must pass through between important division games.The Cubs split six games against National League Central opponents Milwaukee and Pittsburgh last week. They’ll make a two-game pit stop in Detroit this week before returning home for four games against last-place Cincinnati.While trying to hold off Milwaukee and surging St. Louis, first-place Chicago hopes to regains its offensive punch against the pitching-deficient Tigers. The Cubs have scored a single run in each of their last four games and were fortunate to win two of them.Article continues below ...“We have to get our offense straightened out,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told mlb.com. “I can’t make any excuses for them either. We just have to get better. But we did pitch. We played great defense. We did a lot of really good things. We just didn’t hit the baseball.”Chicago’s only runs in the four-game series against the Pirates came on solo homers. It went hitless in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.“You can’t be panicked by the fact that we just had four games where we just scored one run,” outfielder Kyle Schwarber said to mlb.com. “All teams probably go through the stretch. … We’re ready to have this off-day, get refocused and get ready for this next series.”Facing the battered Tigers’ staff could be just what the Cubs need to get their bats going. Detroit’s starting rotation has been decimated by injuries and trades. Michael Fulmer and Blaine Hardy are on the disabled list and Mike Fiers was recently traded to Oakland.Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was forced to try a “bullpen day” on Sunday, with long reliever Buck Farmer making his first start this year. Detroit lost 5-4 to Minnesota.The Twins blasted 13 homers in the four-game series. The Tigers scored at least four runs in each game of the series but only won one.“We have to make better pitches to not give up that many home runs. But also need to cash in better when we get runners on base,” Tigers catcher James McCann told the Detroit News.Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 4.36 ERA) will start for the Tigers on Tuesday. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks (9-9 http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authen...ing-jersey , 4.11).Zimmermann got roughed up in his last start, surrendering six runs and nine hits in five innings to the Chicago White Sox. He has endured similar experiences against the Cubs, mainly during his years with Washington. Zimmermann has a 1-5 record and 4.58 ERA in nine starts against them.Hendricks has only faced the Tigers once, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings on July 3 while getting a no-decision. The Cubs took both games of that two-game series.Hendricks has three wins and a no-decision in his last four starts. He notched a victory on Wednesday despite giving up four runs in six innings to the Brewers.Pinpoint control has allowed Hendricks to bounce back from a shaky beginning to the season. The Cubs have won seven of his last nine starts and he has walked just seven batters in those outings while getting 53 strikeouts.
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