Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

D-backs News

Notes: Guerra at camp; who's impressed Vogt?

@SteveGilbertMLB
July 8, 2020

D-backs right-hander Junior Guerra was all smiles and happy to be on the field for the first time with his teammates Wednesday after clearing the COVID-19 protocol. Guerra said he first tested negative for the virus, but then tested positive about 10 days ago. He did not have any symptoms

D-backs right-hander Junior Guerra was all smiles and happy to be on the field for the first time with his teammates Wednesday after clearing the COVID-19 protocol.

Guerra said he first tested negative for the virus, but then tested positive about 10 days ago. He did not have any symptoms and since that positive test he has had three come back negative, including two in the last 48 hours.

“I felt scared because I have two daughters,” Guerra said of his feelings when he tested positive.

D-backs unveil 2020 schedule

Guerra, who signed a one-year deal with the D-backs in December, was also surprised by the test because of how he felt physically and he said he was thankful that he didn’t have any of the symptoms that he’s heard others have had.

As for where he got it, Guerra also was at a loss.

“I don’t have any idea because I just practice in Chaparral Park because it’s close to my apartment, and then I go to the supermarket,” he said.

Another positive test
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said a player on the D-backs' 40-man roster tested positive for COVID-19, but did not identify the player.

Outfielder Kole Calhoun is still absent from camp after testing positive during the intake process, but he has remained asymptomatic.

View from behind the plate
Veteran catcher Stephen Vogt was asked which pitchers have impressed him the most during Summer Camp. He did not hesitate in naming left-hander Robbie Ray and right-hander Yoan López.

“Robbie Ray looks incredible right now,” Vogt said. “He looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. And Yoan López’s slider right now is the best I’ve seen it. Even from facing him last year, from watching him last year and catching him in Spring Training. The shape is better, the shape is different and he’s throwing well and he’s leaving it in good spots. Those are the two guys that really stand out to me, just as guys that look like they haven’t skipped a beat if not gotten better from where we were four months ago.”

On second thought
Lovullo spent the first days of Summer Camp talking about how he expected the pitchers to be ahead of the hitters, but after watching a few days of intrasquad games, he is taking a second look at that.

“I said four or five days ago that the hitters take a little while to catch up to the pitchers,” Lovullo said. “I think the hitters are a little bit ahead of where I thought they’d be when I made that statement. I may be a little off because our hitters are certainly timing things up and hitting the ball well.”

Just like in Cactus League games, though, Lovullo isn’t judging his pitchers by the results.

“I’m probably breaking down the pitchers in a little different way -- what’s that stuff look like coming out of their hand,” Lovullo said.

Merrill not focused on rotation race
The decision by right-hander Mike Leake not to play this year opened a spot in the D-backs' rotation.

Right-hander Merrill Kelly and lefty Alex Young are the main contenders for the final spot behind Madison Bumgarner, Ray, Luke Weaver and Zac Gallen.

Kelly threw four innings and 67 pitches in an instrasquad game Wednesday and, as he said during Spring Training, his focus is on continuing to get better and pitch well as opposed to where he stands in the rotation race.

“As far as the competition goes, obviously, with Mike being out it changes the dynamic a little bit,” Kelly said. “But I’m still trying not to think about it as much as I can. I’m trying to go until they tell me otherwise. In my mind, I’m a starter until I’m not.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.