Things went rather ill for the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. They were thrashed 19-2 by the Colorado Rockies. Saving one’s bullpen is really the only hope in a game like that, and it was no different for D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. With the Rockies up 18-0 in the fourth inning, he turned to position players to get through the late innings, and, as so often happens in these cases, the non-pitchers pitched more effectively than the pitchers had.
Daniel Descalso tossed 2 2⁄3 innings, but was rocked for four runs, including a home run by Rockies starter, German Marquez. Most of the damage came early on, before Descalso settled in. However, despite some decent work, Descalso was then badly over-shadowed by a dominant performance out of one Alex Avila.
Avila allowed a leadoff single to Ian Desmond in the seventh. He would allow nothing else. The two shutout innings Avila tossed on Wednesday marked the first relief appearance of his career. He should probably quit while he’s ahead. In the interests of science and of appreciation for a good former Tiger, we bring you a quick scouting report on right-handed reliever, Alex Avila.
Avila features a compact, balanced delivery, though his mechanics are somewhat rudimentary. Short-strider with poor extension, yet enough deception that hitters are often late. Past experience as a catcher argues for greater velocity than he shows but Avila stays well within himself, working up and down on the outer edge to hitters of either hand without over-throwing. His batting practice fourseamer has a bit of riding action and gets a lot of fly balls. The sinker has good depth, and drops like a splitter with some fading action.
FB: 73-78 t81
The Pitching Ninja labels the sinker a “gravity ball” which is just ridiculous. It’s clearly a straight sinker. We’ll hash that out later.
Alex Avila, Nasty 75mph Gravity ball. pic.twitter.com/1oJJrmzXLa— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 12, 2018
I have never wanted Justin Verlander's opinion on something more than I want Justin Verlander's opinion on Alex Avila pitching.— Ashley MacLennan (@90feetfromhome) July 12, 2018
In a game like that one, having some fun with it is the only thing left to do. Now, can I please see Jose Iglesias pitch. Just one time. Please?