Inbox: Will Ahmed, Tomas return by Sept. 1?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers questions from D-backs fans

August 16th, 2017

Even if Nick Ahmed and are ready to come back before September callups, will the team wait so they don't have to let someone go in the process?

-- Stephen G., Swink, Colo.

A lot of times, a team will do what you mentioned and try to keep a player on the disabled list for a few extra days so it doesn't need to make a roster move before rosters expand on Sept. 1. However, with the D-backs in a push for the postseason, every game counts and could make a difference in the end. With that in mind, I would expect that if they believe that either Ahmed or Tomas gives them a better chance to win games than the people they have on the roster, they will go ahead and activate them before Sept. 1.

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What can the D-backs do about vs. lefties, and his second-half struggles? Seems like this trend is going to continue: a stellar first half followed up by a disappearing act [that] is going to hurt a team.

-- Mike F., Lenoir, N.C.

As for improving against left-handers (.144/5 HRs/16 RBIs), Lamb has worked hard taking extra batting practice against southpaws. When he takes flips in the cage, they've simulated them coming from the angle of a left-handed pitcher. You can see some improvement there in the home runs that Lamb has hit recently against lefties. As for his second-half performance (.223/5 HRs/25 RBIs), he is trying to put the lessons he learned from last season (.197/9 HRs/30 RBIs) -- where he felt like he put too much pressure on himself -- to work this year. Lamb's past three games have been very good. I don't think it's a big concern.

Why don't they make a starting pitcher?

-- Hector R., Nogales, Ariz.

When they signed De La Rosa after Spring Training began, the D-backs had plenty of candidates for the starting rotation and saw him being effective as a reliever. He has turned in a very nice year out of the bullpen (3-1, 4.57 ERA), and it would be all but impossible at this point of the season to stretch him out to where he could throw the 85-100 pitches that a starter needs. That's a process that usually needs to take place during Spring Training or with a trip to the Minors during the season.