Diamondbacks vs Red Sox Pregame — Zach Davies vs Garrett Whitlock

The Red Sox taking batting practice before their game with the Diamondbacks.
(Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

Diamondbacks vs Red Sox Pregame — May 27, 2023

PHOENIX, May 27 — It is Game Two of a three-game interleague series between the host Arizona Diamondbacks and the visiting Boston Red Sox, which is the second game of a ten-game homestand for the Diamondbacks. For the Red Sox, this is the eighth game of a nine-game road trip that also included stops in San Diego and Anaheim.

Right-hander Zach Davies (0–0, 5.79 ERA) will start for the Diamondbacks against Red Sox righty Garrett Whitlock (1–2, 6.19 ERA). Davies was activated from the injured list to make this start, while Whitlock was recalled from Triple-A Worcester. To make room, the Diamondbacks optioned rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt to Triple-A Reno, and the Red Sox optioned left-hander Brennan Bernardino to Worcester.

Prior to the game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo met with the media on hand. Here are the highlights.

Diamondbacks Manager Torey Lovullo

Lovullo said the decision to send Pfaadt down was “very difficult,” but added that it means the organization has depth. “In this game, there are replaceable parts,” he said. “When you have the quality-type depth that we have, and you’re not performing at the big-league level in our opinion, we make moves that will help enhance the team’s ability to win a game the next day.”

Lovullo said Davies was ready for the opportunity, having thrown the ball extremely well in his rehab starts. The team felt Saturday was a “good jumping off spot” for him.

They did not expect to send Pfaadt back down, nor did they ever hope to. Given how he had been performing in the minors, especially in a place — Reno, elevation 4500 feet — that is notoriously difficult for pitchers, the team expected him to be in the majors for the next 15 years. “Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen for him,” Lovullo stated. “The fastball command was inconsistent, (and) the landing of the secondary stuff was not what we expected.” He added that Friday’s performance showed that Pfaadt “might need a little bit more seasoning.”

Another possibility with Pfaadt is that all but one of his minor league starts have been at a higher elevation. At elevation, pitchers tend to be more fastball-reliant, since their breaking balls don’t work very well. Consequently, his thinking might default to the fastball more than it would have otherwise. Lovullo called this “an interesting thought.”

Return of Drey Jameson

In addition to the Davies/Pfaadt move, Luis Frias was optioned to Reno to make room for Drey Jameson, who is back in a relief role. Lovullo said the team needed coverage in the ‘pen, especially with the starter not surviving the fourth Friday night. He said Jameson has been throwing the ball well and is “ready for this opportunity.”

Jameson will start as a reliever and might do some spot starts. They will, a least for the next few days, keep him stretched out in case they need him to join the rotation. Lovullo said they’ll gradually shorten his outings as they feel his relief role will be more permanent. For now, flexibility will be the name of the game.

Main Photo Credits:

PHOENIX (May 27) — The Boston Red Sox take batting practice as fans watch prior to their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks 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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