There’s countless examples of why the D-backs are 20-52 and have lost a franchise record 16 consecutive games.
Sunday’s series finale offers one of them.
|RF||Souza Jr.||RF||Reddick (L)|
|SS||Lux (L)||C||Varsho (L)|
|P||Gonsolin (R)||P||Young (L)|
Alex Young spent 26 games in Arizona’s bullpen this season, accumulating a 3.45 ERA/4.91 FIP/4.11 xFIP, and he’s now been forced into the team’s rotation due to injuries. The D-backs have needed 12 different players to start a game this season, with Young getting his second shot this afternoon. By comparison, the Dodgers have used nine different starters this season with three of those opening up five bullpen games before Tony Gonsolin slid back into the rotation.
Gonsolin will start his third game of the year, hopefully making it further than the 3 2/3 innings his last time out against the Phillies. Considering Gonsolin’s still working his way back, and Young has maxed out at 57 pitches this season (his last two times out consisting of 3 and 4 innings), both teams may need to lean on the bullpens a bit.
Young is a lefty, so that brings out a lineup of right-handed batters with Mookie Betts and Will Smith getting the day off. A 4-5-6 of Albert Pujols, Andy Burns and Steven Souza Jr. sure is a thing that exists in 2021.
And while the Dodgers are throwing out a few guys you wouldn’t have expected to see in a lineup this year, the D-backs are plugging a pair of players just called up from Triple-A into their starting lineup.
Young has faced the Dodgers once this year, giving up 1 run through 1 IP on May 18. Entering in relief of Corbin Martin, Young gave up a pair of singles in the 6th before escaping without any more damage. A walk to Max Muncy to open the 7th ended his day, with the Dodgers eventually scoring 5 runs in the inning thanks to Kevin Ginkel and a Gavin Lux grand slam.
In 2020, Young faced the Dodgers three times, twice in relief and one start in September. Allowing 3 runs across 7 total innings, Young struck out 8 while walking 6. He had started 22 of his 32 career appearances entering the season, including a few more starts against the Dodgers in 2019.
This season, and really for the extent of his major-league career, Young has split his pitch usage pretty evenly to all batters. Three of his pitches top 20% with his curve the lowest usage at 17%. In 2020 and 2019, he essentially had four pitches used at least 20% of the time. Naturally, that changes when you focus on how he approaches batters on each side of the plate, but overall his fourseam fastball has produced a .477 xBA, a 1.050 xSLG and a .648 xWOBA while topping out at 91.2 mph. He barely throws the pitch to righties, with it at just 9.4% this season, instead opting for his change (34.7%) and his sinker (32.8%). Left-handed batters particularly kill his fastball, but Young sticks with it at 27.5% this season. Effectively throwing a completely different arsenal based on the batter, Young is also 34.2% cutter and 23.8% curve to left-handed batters.
Given all of that info, it may not surprise you to hear that Young has allowed a .265/.379/.551/.930 line to 59 left-handed batters this year and a .219/.280/.315/.595 line to 82 right-handed batters in 2021.
Looking ahead to next week, here’s how the Dodgers’ rotation is set.
First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. PT on SNLA or on Bally Sports Arizona if you are in Arizona like I am.