Diamondbacks vs Rockies Pregame — Zac Gallen vs Kyle Freeland

Members of the Colorado Rockies taking batting practice before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
(Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

Diamondbacks vs Rockies Pregame — May 30, 2023

PHOENIX, May 30 — It is Game Two of a four-game intradivision series between the host Arizona Diamondbacks and the visiting Colorado Rockies, which is the fifth game of a ten-game homestand for the Diamondbacks. For the Rockies, this is the second game of a seven-game road trip that will also take the Rockies to Kansas City.

Prior to the game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and Rockies manager Bud Black met (separately) with the media on hand. Here are the highlights.

Diamondbacks Manager Torey Lovullo

Injury Updates

Joe Mantiply threw a 25-pitch live session today. Carson Kelly hit off him. Kelly is heading to Oklahoma City tonight to join the Reno Aces (AAA) on a rehab assignment. He will have a full workday Wednesday and then start at catcher the next day.

Mantiply “felt great” and ran through some PFPs (pitcher fielding practice) post-outing. The team is “still trying to figure out what those next steps are,” Lovullo said.

Kyle Lewis had an off-day yesterday and will play the outfield tonight. He is progressing “very well.” He still needs to finish building his stamina back up before he can return to the big-league club. Lovullo still cannot disclose what the medical ailment is.

Victory Vest

Lovullo likes the Victory Vest, saying, “You can go back into the 1980 version of my apparel and probably find something in that part of the garage for sure.” He is looking forward to the first time Zac Gallen gets it. For one, Lovullo doesn’t think it will fit him, but secondly, because Gallen is such a humble guy. He has a “funny feeling” Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is responsible for it because Gurriel was “yukking it up” as he entered the tunnel. Lovullo feels part of being a successful baseball player is “being able to separate the seriousness of what happens in the moment” and “having a little bit of balance and a good laugh.”

Pitching Matchup

When asked what he thinks it will take for Gallen to “get back on track” after the last few outings, Lovullo said Gallen’s outings were not bad at all. He said if there was a different outcome after he came out of the game in Philadelphia, “he would have had 5 2/3 scoreless.” Lovullo added that he, in retrospect, feels that he pulled Gallen too early and should have let him get out of it. “I jumped the gun a little bit,” he said.

Lovullo added, “He spoils us. We expect him to go out there and magically put up zeroes every single time. And when he doesn’t, it’s like, ‘What’s wrong with Zac?’ Nothing’s really wrong with Zac.” Lovullo continued, “He’s already on track, believe it or not.” For Gallen to have a successful outing, he needs to “establish fastball command, figure out the sequencing, and land secondary stuff.”

Of Rockies starter Kyle Freeland, Lovullo said, “He’s a competitor. He’s a warrior out there. He just pitches — pitches both sides of the plate, cuts it, sinks it, changes speeds, with a changeup on the outer half of the plate. You have to cut the plate in half and be very disciplined to the side of the plate that you’re looking at. If you’re looking away and swinging in, it’s gonna be a tough night. We have to be stubborn to the area we need to lock in on. And then he’ll change speeds front to back, so we have to be careful about getting into pull mode.”

Rockies Manager Bud Black

Ryan McMahon has made some mechanical adjustments in his hitting approach. McMahon said they might be paying off now, especially in the sequencing and getting his body going. Black feels that the progress has been more in the physical area. Specifically, Black feels it is “what his body needs to do to get the barrel in position to impact the ball.” The adjustments, Black explained further, came from work with the “hitting guys,” where they identified some areas for adjustment about a week ago.

Black confirmed that Dinelson Lamet will start Wednesday, something Rockies Beat Writer Thomas Harding of MLB.com reported Sunday via Twitter. Lamet, when joining the team last season, said he ultimately wanted to be a starter, and this will be the first time he gets to do so for the Rockies. “When a player feels strongly about his role,” Black said, “it’s best suited for him to give it a go.”

Black on Zac Gallen

Black said Gallen is a “good pitcher. Really good. For me, one of the best pitchers in the National League. Probably under the radar nationally, but for me, not. I’ve seen a lot of him, obviously, being in the same division. He’s a real pitcher. Good stuff.” Black said he has three very good pitches. “Fastball with location, good feel for a changeup, a breaking ball. More than anything, there’s some deception in there, too. Guys just don’t see the ball great. It’s a gift that he has, a natural gift of deception. So really good pitcher. Fields his position, holds runners, all the things you look for beyond his stuff. He’s got it all.”

Main Photo Credits:

PHOENIX (May 30) — Members of the Colorado Rockies take batting practice 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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