D-backs’ Jake McCarthy searches for right timing in 2nd stint of 2023

May 30, 2023, 6:13 PM

Jake McCarthy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets a lead from first base against the Los Angeles D...

Jake McCarthy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets a lead from first base against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on April 09, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been off to a stellar start to the 2023 season largely due to copious amounts of depth and young talent.

The deepest part of the team may be the outfield with Corbin Carroll, Jake McCarthy, Alek Thomas, Kyle Lewis, Pavin Smith (at times) and the stunning arrivals of both Dominic Fletcher and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Just 45 games in the season, Thomas, McCarthy and Fletcher have all spent time in both the majors and minors while Lewis has been out with an undisclosed illness for well over a month, meaning much of the young talent has had a chance to prove themselves.

After being the surprise call-up in 2022 who also bounced back and forth from Reno to Phoenix, McCarthy has seen a small slump in his second season in the bigs.

In 2023, the speedy outfielder is batting .162, .253 OBP and .257 SLG with one home run and five RBIs in 74 at-bats. Comparatively in 2022, he hit .283/.342/.427 in the same categories, respectively.

“A lot of it is timing. I got off to a slow start here and I wanted to have better at-bats down there,” McCarthy told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo.

“I talked to Torey (Lovullo) and he said, ‘You understand the move right?’ I was kind of the odd man out, the offense was clicking. If you don’t like it, play better. That’s the saying. So, I went down and tried to have better at-bats, swing at the right pitches and try and get back here as soon as possible.”

He made his first appearance of his second stint this year against the Boston Red Sox on Friday and has found a rhythm over his last three games, going 3-for-9 with two RBIs and two stolen bases.

Although he may have under-achieved on the box score in limited time this season, his approach at the plate may be slightly improved.

In 2023, he has improved on his strikeout percentage, walk percentage, average launch angle, expected slugging percentage and has the exact same expected average as the previous season at .249, according to Baseball Savant.

“Being sent down always sucks. I have been sent down three times now, so it’s nothing new. One of the times I got sent down, I thought I was performing and contributing. This time around, I don’t think that was the case.

“I am a team guy and all I want to do is win. If he (Lovullo) felt like it was the right move and helped the team, I completely understand. … You have to force their hand. I want to be in the lineup every day but I have to prove I belong in the lineup every day.”

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