D-backs assistant GM: Taylor Clarke showed poise in debut as starter

May 8, 2019, 9:49 AM | Updated: 10:14 am
Taylor Clarke #45 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at T...
Taylor Clarke #45 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 07, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Taylor Clarke had been scuffed up quite a bit this season as a minor league pitcher. In a way, previous performances of less-than-clean results might’ve helped him in his debut as an Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay Rays leadoff man Brandon Lowe gave his team a 1-0 lead off Clarke’s first pitch, but the D-backs front office liked the recovery — and Clarke’s overall outing in a 6-3 defeat.

“Obviously the poise he showed last night (impressed),” Arizona assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “He got clipped on the first pitch and then obviously settled down, kept them off balance, gave us a really strong start. They’re scrappy and they can drive the ball, they can do a lot of really good things in the lineup.

“He navigated through a lineup that, it’s first place in the AL East. I was really impressed with everything with his four pitches.”

Clarke went 6.0 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks. After his second MLB outing — Clarke threw three scoreless frames out of the bullpen a few weeks back — he has flashed a well-controlled 94 mph fastball and four-pitch mix. His success might be surprising considering the 25-year-old’s struggles so far in Triple-A Reno.

Over five appearances in the Pacific Coast League, Clarke has a 6.12 ERA as opponents have hit .276 against him.

But playing in a league where the offense is aplenty and with four of those starts at Reno’s offense-injecting Greater Nevada Field has perhaps helped Clarke prepare for taking it one pitch at a time.

“… Reno prepares you for some of this because you can get clipped in Reno pretty easily,” Sawdaye said. “In the PCL, the ball is flying out this year. I think again, it goes back to the preparation in the minor leagues.

“We knew Taylor has the stuff to compete in the big leagues and has the strike-throwing ability and won’t back down, and I think he showed that last night.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

Fans fill Camelback Ranch during the MLB Spring Training baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and...
Wills Rice

Dog makes fantastic home run snag during Cactus League game

A dog made the play of the day in the outfield grass on Saturday following a home run during the Dodgers-Royals Cactus League game.
17 hours ago
Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks works out at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on F...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Diamondbacks believe Gabriel Moreno is ready for bigger role

Gabriel Moreno will be the Arizona Diamondbacks' everyday catcher soon enough but it might happen even sooner than expected.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo speaks with reporters after a 7-4 spring training loss t...
Jake Anderson

Diamondbacks still have major roster questions as Opening Day looms

With only six days until Opening Day, D-backs skipper Torey Lovullo still has to get the active roster down from 36 to 26.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luis Frias (65) shakes hands with Diamondbacks catcher Grayson Greiner...
Arizona Sports

D-backs option Ps Luis Frias, Kyle Nelson to Triple-A Reno

The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned pitchers Luis Frias and Kyle Nelson to the Triple-A Reno Aces on Friday.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws against the Colorado Rockies during the fir...
Arizona Sports

D-backs name Zac Gallen as Opening Day starter for 2023

Zac Gallen will start for the Arizona Diamondbacks next Thursday for Opening Day against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
2 days ago
Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. speaks, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, during ...
Arizona Sports

Timing makes D-backs media rights complex for MLB to obtain

Why would the Padres become the first team ahead of the D-backs that triggers MLB to head to court in an attempt to obtain their rights?
2 days ago
D-backs assistant GM: Taylor Clarke showed poise in debut as starter