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  • 28 May 2019
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    Merrill Kelly and the D-backs pitchers looked quite good. The offense, on the
    other hand..."Record: 9-10-2. Change on 2018: -2. 5-inning record: 9-9-3.The
    Diamondbacks offense has not been having the best of springs. After 21 games and
    almost seven hundred at-bats, they are hitting a collective .250/.320/.373. The
    resulting .693 OPS ranks ahead only of the Cardinals this spring. Now, we all
    know exactly how predictive spring training statistics are - hardly at all. But
    when the numbers do line up with pre-season concerns about the offense seen as
    potentially struggling to score runs, we can be forgiven for loosening our shirt
    collars nervously. In particular, the fourteen home-runs hit by Arizona this
    spring is the fewest of any team in baseball. This afternoon at Tempe Diablo,
    Arizona were held to just four hits: singles by 2B Wilmer Flores, SS Ildemaro
    Vargas and RF-CF Matt Szczur, and a double off the bat of SS Nick Ahmed. Flores
    and Ahmed each had a walk. The D-backs had only two at-bats with a runner in
    scoring position, and only scored their solitary run on a wild pitch. They have
    managed just sixteen runs over their last six games, dating back to the first
    game in Mexico. Too early to panic, naturally. But with less than two weeks to
    go until Opening
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    , I’d rather they started poorly, and rounded into form as
    we moved through the spring. Still, the best-hitting teams last spring? The
    Padres, Indians, Giants and Royals. The lack of offense perhaps overshadows
    another decent outing from Merrill Kelly, who was probably one mistake from five
    shutout innings. Albert Pujols may fall a long way short of justifying his $27
    million salary for the Angels this year, but he still is apparently capable of
    clobbering poorly-located pitchers into the bleachers. I trust Merrill has
    learned a valuable lesson from this. He went 4.2 innings, allowing the two-run
    shot to Pujols, as well as two other hits, while walking one and striking out
    two. Marc Rzepczynski walked two before getting the last out in the fifth. Nick
    Green tossed a pair of scoreless frames, though walked two and struck out none,
    and Alex Young had a clean eighth.
    Tomorrow Alex
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    , the Cubs come to Salt River Fields, with Matt Koch starting
    for the D-backs. It’s a radio game, available on ESPN Phoenix 620. Astros
    bullpen coach Doug White replaces him in the first of Brad Ausmus’ staff
    changes."Say “so long” to the all-too-familiar sight of a weary Charles Nagy
    trudging to the mound to counsel yet another scuffling Angels pitcher.Nagy was
    shown the door Tuesday, after three seasons as the Angels’ long-suffering
    bullpen coach. His exit may herald the first of what may become a wholesale
    purge of former manager Mike Scioscia’s coaching staff.It’s expected that the
    Angels will name the entire new coaching staff in one fell swoop some time in
    the next few weeks.Nagy, 51, will be replaced by Doug White on new skipper Brad
    Ausmus’ staff in Anaheim. White has just completed his first season on the
    Houston Astros’ staff as bullpen coach.Of all of Scioscia’s former coaches, Nagy
    was one whose job seemed to be fairly secure. He had a positive track record
    despite working with always depleted resources.The news was broken this morning
    by Houston beat writer Jake Kaplan and senior writer Ken Rosenthal of The
    Athletic.The Angels’ pitching staff was ravaged by injuries during each of
    Nagy’s three seasons in Anaheim — a big reason all three were losing
    seasons.Nagy was always juggling an ever-changing staff. In 2018 alone, 14
    Angels pitchers went on the disabled list. White, a San Diego resident, had
    spent six seasons in the Astros’ organization, with 2017 his first year as a
    coach at the MLB level. He steps into a deluxe job in Anaheim.White was brought
    aboard by Houston in 2013 as the pitching coach for the Tri-City ValleyCats
    (short-season Class A). The next two seasons, White served as a roving pitching
    instructor across the Astros’ system. In
    2016 Zack
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    , he was promoted to minor league pitching coordinator.Prior
    to his coaching stint with the Astros, White had been a minor-league pitching
    coach in the St. Louis Cardinals organization for five years.White has been the
    owner and operator of Passion for Pitching in San Diego since 2004, providing
    private pitching instruction for clients. He’s a 2002 broadcast journalism
    graduate of Arizona State University. Nagy joined the Angels in November, 2015,
    replacing Mike Butcher.He became a popular figure in Anaheim his first season,
    2016, when it appeared Nagy that could work magic. That season, Nagy nursed the
    Angels’ battered pitchers to an unlikely American League record: The Angels had
    24 different pitchers record a win. He used 30.Nagy had been pitching coach for
    the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2011-13, where he oversaw the development of lefty
    ace Patrick Corbin — a possible off-season target for the Angels.It was clear
    that Nagy knew a lot about pitching. As an MLB pitcher himself, Nagy never had
    the swing-and-miss stuff of a guy like Corbin. But he didn’t need it.Over 14
    years in the majors, the right-hander had plenty of endurance and craft on the
    mound.That guile made Nagy a three-time All-Star for the powerhouse Cleveland
    Indians teams of the 1990s. He pitched in two World Series, in 1995 and
    1997 ,
    both losing causes.From 1995-99, Nagy was an absolute ironman for the Tribe. He
    had 15 or more wins in each of those seasons.Nagy was a cog for dominant Indians
    teams that won tons of games — but underacheived when it counted. The World
    Series wasn’t kind to Charlie Nagy.The Indians lost in six games to the Atlanta
    Braves in the 1995 Series.Nagy’s next appearance in the Fall Classic was worse,
    in 1997.In a thrilling Game 7, with the Indians facing the Florida Marlins, Nagy
    took the ball in relief for the bottom of the 11th. He gave up a two-out,
    bases-loaded walkoff single.Clutch? Maybe not. But nobody questioned Nagy’s
    endurance. He made 192 consecutive starts without missing a turn for the
    Indians.When Nagy finally went on the disabled list in May 2000 to remove bone
    chips from his elbow, the run of starts ended — a streak that Nagy began way
    back in October, 1993.Tell that to the kid pitchers of today.