D-backs prepare for tough test down the stretch

August 28th, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta (6) celebrates his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels with manager Torey Lovullo (17) during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Ross D. Franklin/AP

SAN FRANCISCO -- The first-place D-backs begin a seven-game road trip in San Francisco on Monday night. They are embarking on the final stretch of the season, and 24 of their final 32 games are against teams over .500.
"This is really what it's all about," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We're back within our division, and I know I made the comment that I feel like the teams that play the best within their division are going to have the best chance to go to where they're hoping to get to at the end of the story. We've talked about these moments, we're prepared for these moments and I think these guys are ready for this next set of challenges."
After playing three with the Giants at AT&T Park, Arizona will head to Los Angeles for a four-game set against the Dodgers. With that in mind, Lovullo rested center fielder A.J. Pollock and second baseman  in Monday's series opener.
"This is going to be a really important stretch of baseball," Lovullo said, "and I want, nothing against the Giants, but I want to make sure we have our guys ready healthy and strong when we march down to L.A."
The third game of the Dodgers series falls on Sept. 1, so the D-backs will likely welcome Minor League reinforcements as the active rosters expand.
"We have some no-brainers, some names that we know will most certainly will join us," Lovullo said. "And then also some others that will fill some specific needs. So we look at it two different ways. There are those that obviously deserve the call-up and should be here at the big league level. And there's others that given a set of circumstances and how lineups will play out against certain matchups, we're going to fill those needs."
Dyson, Miller progressing
Right-hander , sidelined since July 12 with right shoulder inflammation, threw 75 to 100 feet on Monday, according to Lovullo. The D-backs are hoping to increase the distance this week.
Outfielder , who has been on the disabled list since July 5 with a right groin strain, ran the bases before Monday's game and told Lovullo he's "feeling good," which the manager said "is really encouraging."
The final piece of Dyson's rehab will be executing a drop-step and chasing a baseball, something he has yet to do.
"I think he's going to attempt [the drop-step] this week," Lovullo said. "Some time probably mid-to-late week. And we would certainly like to see him play some innings too. We know that we're up against the end of the season, or seasons, but we would like to get him onto a baseball field and get him into a rehab situation."
Dyson, who has swiped 16 bags in 19 attempts this season, is one addition the D-backs would love to get in September.
"We wouldn't want to put him in a situation where he could still get banged up or hurt himself," Lovullo added. "So if running straight ahead is one thing he can do, we will certainly take advantage of that and put him on the bases, maybe pinch-run. But yes, he's got a lot of value to this team."