Diamondbacks vs Marlins Pregame — Brandon Pfaadt vs Jesus Luzardo

Diamondbacks taking fielding drills before playing the Marlins
(Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

Diamondbacks vs Marlins Pregame — May 9, 2023

PHOENIX, May 9 — It is Game Two of a three-game set between the host Arizona Diamondbacks and the visiting Miami Marlins, which is the fifth game of a ten-game homestand for the Diamondbacks. For the Marlins, it is the fifth game of a six-game road trip. Right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (0–0, 13.50 ERA) will start for the Diamondbacks — his second major league start and first at Chase Field — against lefty Jesus Luzardo (2–2, 3.66 ERA) of the Marlins. Prior to the game, Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Strom and Marlins manager Skip Schumaker met (separately) with the media on hand. Here are the highlights of their respective conferences.

Diamondbacks Pitching Coach Brent Strom

From Pfaadt’s start in Texas against the Rangers last Wednesday, Strom noted, “(Brandon) is a strike thrower who didn’t run away from the strike zone even though he got hit hard by a good-hitting team and kept competing. I was hoping to get five out of him, and the inning got away from a little bit. But I think he found out what it’s like to pitch in the big leagues. It was an indoctrination, but I expect him to be much better tonight. Much better.”

Strom was impressed by Pfaadt’s “poise and maturity.” He did not get down on himself and will learn from his mistakes.

One aspect of Pfaadt that Strom likes is his arm slot. It is what Strom describes as a “lower arm slot” which gives his pitches “some carry.” Strom continued, “He has a good sweeper (and) changeup. The one thing on the changeup, he got hurt by (Jonah) Heim on a 90-mph changeup. So he needed to take a little (velocity) off that pitch.” Strom said he and Pfaadt have worked on that since his last outing and should perform better in this game against the Marlins.

Strom described the sweeper as a new pitch from this decade. To illustrate its action, Strom explained, “Instead of breaking the ball down, you basically take the earth and turn it on its side. So instead of going North Pole–South Pole, he goes to the equator, so to speak. (It) causes the ball to spin on a horizontal axis, which can be a very effective pitch and can be effective against left-handers also.”

Marlins Manager Skip Schumaker

Schumaker feels that if one were to ask Jesus Luzardo how he would assess his season thus far, “he would tell you that he would like to be a tick better. He just scratched the surface of where he can be and should be. Some of the better stuff that you’ll see in the major leagues, when he’s in the zone, and he’s really, really effective.”

Schumaker would like to see Luzardo “command more up and down and not just east and west.” He added that the Diamondbacks have a “good right-handed-hitting lineup,” specifically noting Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Third baseman Jean Segura has struggled since the beginning of the season, and it culminated in an ejection Monday night. It was the first of Segura’s career. Schumaker is not starting him, giving him a mental break.

The Marlins had a short bullpen Monday night due to the 14-inning marathon they played in Chicago Sunday. Schumaker said everyone is available tonight except Andrew Nardi and Chi Chi Gonzalez, who pitched Monday night.

Schumaker said Brandon Pfaadt has “some good stuff.” He continued, “Really elite stuff. That fastball is real. A little bit of cut, really good slider. Looks like he’s developed a really good changeup. To me, it’s like he’s trending up with the stuff that he has. He has a lot of potential, bright future in this league. Hopefully, we don’t see him too many innings, that means we did something against him. But looks like he has a good chance to be a quality major-league starter for a long time.”

Main Photo Credits:

PHOENIX (May 9) — The Arizona Diamondbacks take fielding drills prior to their game against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field. (Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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