D-backs getting look at lead-off Corbin Carroll in lineup mix-up

Aug 9, 2023, 5:33 PM

Corbin Carroll and Christian Walker...

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 04: Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with Christian Walker #53 after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the first inning at Chase Field on July 04, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — An Arizona Diamondbacks lineup looking for answers is mixing it up Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and potentially beyond.

Corbin Carroll will lead off for the second time this season and fourth in his big league career, while Geraldo Perdomo will bump down to ninth as a lineup rollover against Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller.

Over the last 11 games, the D-backs have scored four total runs during the opening three innings of contests. They lost their seventh straight game on Tuesday and have not scored more than four runs in a game in August, sparking a change.

“We’ll see how it looks, I just feel like it’s my responsibility to be creative in times where, for the past month we haven’t been doing a lot,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “If I can jumpstart it by doing something different, I will try.”

Lovullo hit Carroll first during Thursday’s 1-0 loss at the San Francisco Giants, but it didn’t stick.

This time could be different.

“I tried it once and it didn’t work out so well,” Lovullo said. “But this one I might commit to for a little while, I want to see what this looks like.”

This move allows one of the MLB’s top power-speed threats to get the most possible at-bats in the order. His production in the box has taken a hit since the All-Star break, as he’s hitting .229 with a .733 OPS in 98 plate appearances.

But Carroll continues to get on base at a .345 mark over the last 20 games as one of the game’s most dangerous base runners. Getting him or Jake McCarthy on to start an inning changes the complexion of it.

Arizona has been on the wrong end of many close games recently, losing four straight one-run contests. General manager Mike Hazen has seen too many games of catch-up. 

“When you see us, we are good enough to lose by a run, it means that we’re good enough to figure out ways to win these games,” Hazen told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Wednesday.

“It’s one thing when you’re talking about a situation where you’re getting beat up every night. That’s not what’s happening. We are not coming out in the very beginnings of these games and putting pressure on the other team … unlike some past years when we’ve kind of we kind of ran out of time, in these types of situations, we still have time to turn this thing around.”

So, Carroll moves up, but so does Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who will slide into the No. 3 hole. Gurriel carried an eight-game hitting streak into Tuesday, and he’s carrying the hottest bat on the team on the past nine games. He boasts a 1.095 OPS with three multi-hit games in that span, a needed jolt of power after his quiet July.

As for Perdomo, the team leader in on-base percentage, he gets to be the rollover at the bottom of the order again. Lovullo said it is a sacrifice for the All-Star, but the idea is to set up the top of the order in a more favorable way. Perdomo’s August has started slowly (.414 OPS).

The youth is struggling as a whole to pass the bat along. Perdomo, Carroll, McCarthy, Alek Thomas and Emanuel Rivera have all been below league average hitters by wRC+ (100) since the All-Star break.

Hazen has said the front office is looking at possible roster changes to help, but the corps is the corps and one he expects more from down the stretch.

The 2018 Diamondbacks similarly fell from division contention to out of the wild card race with an 8-19 September. That club was different, much more veteran laden, and Lovullo said he’s making an adjustment he did not that season.

“I really stuck with that that veteran group of players and tried to let them work it out,” Lovullo said. “I might be messing with the DNA a little bit more than I’m comfortable with. But I’ve learned a lesson that you can’t sit still all the time.”

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