Newly signed Diamondbacks righty Dan Straily chatted with The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan at length about his determination to signal with Arizona and his targets of reestablishing himself as a high quality huge league starter after a powerful two-year run within the Korea Baseball Group. Straily indicated that he had a number of provides however selected to signal with the D-backs for a number of causes, together with a superb alternative to earn a roster spot out of the gate and relative proximity (a two-hour flight) to his household’s house in Oregon. He candidly acknowledged that he went to South Korea in want of main enchancment — “I didn’t find yourself in Korea as a result of I used to be able to be within the main leagues on the time” — and mentioned modifications he’s made to his repertoire, together with pitch grips, pitch shapes, and a wholly new pitch.
Extra broadly, followers will need to try the entire Q&A to get a way of Straily’s experiences pitching in a international league (and of being within the midst of KBO Spring Coaching when the pandemic broke out), his relationship with incoming pitching coach Brent Strom and the finer particulars of the work he’s put in to rebuild his profession. Notably, Straily added that he thought of ready till the lockout ended to pursue a Main League contract however finally selected a minor league alternative that allowed him to get rolling as rapidly as attainable. “We felt prefer it was time for me to get to work,” mentioned Straily.
Just a few extra notes on the D-backs…
- Buchanan additionally passes alongside a pair of updates on a few of the system’s prime prospects (Twitter link). Outfielder Corbin Carroll is again to 100% after final 12 months’s season-ending shoulder surgery. The 21-year-old was the No. 16 general choose in 2019 and is extensively thought to be one of many sport’s prime 50 general prospects, even after his 2021 harm. Carroll sustained the harm on a swing that resulted in a house run in one of many simply seven video games he performed with the Snakes’ Excessive-A affiliate final season. He hasn’t had a lot of a glance within the execs due to that surgical procedure and the wiped-out 2020 minor league season, however Carroll owns a .316/.428/.542 batting line with 4 house runs, ten doubles, 9 triples and 21 stolen bases (in 23 tries) via his first 215 skilled plate appearances, relationship again to 2019. He’s seen as a attainable long-term possibility in middle area for the D-backs, although he has a superb little bit of improvement left after successfully lacking two full years’ price of reps in 2020-21.
- Additionally on the mend from shoulder surgical procedure is 2021 prime draft choice Jordan Lawlar. The touted younger shortstop and No. 6 general choose sustained a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder not lengthy after signing, limiting his skilled debut to simply two video games with the D-backs’ Rookie-level affiliate. Lawlar, 19, is a couple of month behind Carroll in his rehab course of, per Buchanan, and has not but been cleared for batting apply. Like Carroll, Lawlar is a consensus prime prospect, albeit one who has a bit extra variance by way of scouting reviews on his future (which is probably to be anticipated given his lack of professional expertise). Keith Legislation ranked Lawlar No. 31 among MLB prospects, noting that he had the “greatest bundle of instruments” within the 2021 draft and including that with Lawlar’s athleticism, velocity, arm energy and energy potential, he could possibly be within the combine for the game’s prime general prospect subsequent 12 months.
- Josh Barfield spoke with Bill Ladson of MLB.com to debate his journey from huge league infielder, to scout, to his present function as Diamondbacks director of participant improvement. Barfield “by no means noticed [himself] entering into this facet of the sport” however now relishes his participant improvement function and the challenges it presents. Citing mentors like former D-backs GM Dave Stewart, present GM Mike Hazen and his personal predecessor Mike Bell, who tragically handed away final spring after a battle with kidney most cancers, Barfield mentioned how his love for participant improvement and baseball operations has grown. His final objective has now shifted from his early days as a scout, as he advised Ladson he has his sights set on ultimately turning into a common supervisor. Whereas Barfield acknowledged that “there’s not too lots of these jobs,” his interactions with Hazen and Stewart, in addition to his “ultra-competitive” nature are actually driving that ambition.