Rookie-led teams match up as D-backs visit Reds

Two teams enjoying surprising success thanks to exceptional rookies meet for the first time this season Arizona Diamondbacks to visit Cincinnati Reds In the opening three-match weekend series on Friday

reds hovered at or near first place in the National League Central, while diamondbacks Took first place in the NL West for most of the season

Cincinnati’s novice crop is headlined by Eli De La Cruz. His relay throw from shortstop to catch a runner at home plate was recorded at 99.8 mph. redsThursday’s 5-1 win over San Francisco. It was the hardest throw on an infield assist in the Statcast era (since 2015) – breaking his own record.

“You could see it coming,” reds Manager David Bell said of de la Cruz, who also recorded an infield assist of 97.9 mph on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers. “Obviously, getting runs off the board is a big thing in any game, and that (Thursday) was a big game.

Fellow rookie Andrew Abbott allowed only one hit in eight shutout innings in the win, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, in his fourth major league game, collected his fourth RBI.

Even second-year player Will Benson is ripe for this reds After being acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians in February

outfielder hit a three-run homer that helped reds Snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over San Francisco on Wednesday

He had two doubles, a run and an RBI on Thursday. Benson overcame his demotion to Triple-A Louisville early in the season—he was 1 for 21 with 12 strikeouts at the time—and finished the season batting .289 and slugging .526.

“We’ve got a lot of young players, but I don’t think about it that way because of the way they’re handling everything with maturity,” Bell said. “Good players, they’re not playing like first-year players, and it’s not trying to push or put pressure on them too much.”

Outfielder Corbin Carroll, Arizona’s first-round pick in 2019, is a leading candidate for National League Rookie of the Year. He made the NL All-Star team and is batting .283 with 19 homers, 51 RBI and 29 stolen bases after hitting a homer and stealing a base in a 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

“Some of the guys from that (2019) class are here now and helping us win baseball games,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “The head of the class was obviously Corbin. He was our first choice. I remember meeting him for the first time, signing his contract and doing (batting practice) with us. It didn’t surprise me. I knew (we) ) will select someone who can be the best player with the best equipment.”

Arizona sent left-hander Tommy Henry (5–2, 3.89 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. The 25-year-old will make his 15th start of the season.

Henry showed signs of rust in his latest start, which took place on Sunday in Toronto. After getting 10 days of rest at the All-Star break, Henry gave up seven hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking one while taking the 7–5 loss.

Henry would oppose Cincinnati for the first time.

reds Will compete with right-hander Ben Lively (4-5, 3.72 ERA), who will make his 10th start of 2023. In his most recent outing, a Sunday loss against the visiting Brewers, Lively lasted just four innings before leaving .with cramps. He allowed one run on three hits and no runs while striking out three.

Lively will face Arizona for the fourth time in his career, but the first time since 2018, when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA vs. diamondbacks covered 13 2/3 innings in three starts

–Field Level Media

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