ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs RHP Luke Weaver gets hit but finds off-speed groove vs. Rockies

Mar 9, 2021, 4:47 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luke Weaver throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first innin...

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luke Weaver throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during a baseball game, Saturday, Aug 29, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

SCOTTSDALE — Manager Torey Lovullo wanted to see Luke Weaver continue to refine his secondary stuff in the pitcher’s second spring outing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Weaver ticked those boxes just fine on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

If only Lovullo had more expressly hoped for Weaver to keep his fastball under control.

“Obviously the results weren’t amazing but, man, I threw some really, really good off-speed pitches today,” Weaver said after allowing three home runs during a 11-4 loss at Salt River Fields.

Weaver closed the day having given up five hits, four earned runs and three home runs with a walk and four strikeouts.

In the second inning, Weaver ran into trouble with a wild pitch in the dirt followed by a high, inside fastball to Brendan Rodgers for a two-run homer to left field.

Weaver scuffled with his windup rhythm in the third, and his command on those fastballs went south with it.

“You might have seen me switch to the stretch there towards the end of that inning and say, ‘Forget the windup for now because I need to get some guys out,'” Weaver said of his change in approach.

The Rockies’ Ryan McMahon homered to center field on a 3-2 pitch in the third inning. Trevor Story, the next batter, also got Weaver to center.

The three home runs by the Rockies were all off Weaver’s fastballs hung in the zone.

“That’s ultimately on me,” Weaver said.

But those off-speed pitches? Weaver found optimism there.

He especially liked an 86-mph cutter that ended his afternoon with the first-pitch flyout by Josh Fuentes in the third inning.

“I threw some really good curveballs with bite that we got some attempts on, swing-and-misses on,” Weaver said. “Those are the type of results I’m trying to see with those pitches, the work I put in and to be able to be in a game like that and throw something with conviction and to get a result from it.”

Lovullo had a little more of a hot-and-cold take of it: “I think the breaking ball had a bit of depth to it and we saw some barrels working over it.

“Overall, it’s still a work in progress, I get that, but I think Luke was making some mistakes.”

BASE HITS

— Lovullo said that Ketel Marte has focused on improving his selectivity at the plate with regards to which pitches he swings at. Even after going 0-for-3 against Colorado, his average (.533) and OPS (1.39) reflect how fast he’s started this spring.

“That selectivity is going to let him get behind the baseball and drive it more frequently,” Lovullo said. “It’s mostly the selection of pitches he’s waiting for. He’s looking for one pitch and one spot, and it’s showing up several times already.”

— Taylor Widener and Jon Duplantier, two starting type pitchers who could fight for relief roles on the major league roster, pitched Tuesday in a B game. Duplantier stood out at the Salt River Fields practice fields before the Rockies-Diamondbacks game.

“Dup to me had an unbelievable slider-cutter going,” Lovullo said. “Some really good pitches that led to some very successful easy innings.”

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