Inbox: Will D-backs make move before Aug. 31?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers questions from fans

August 21st, 2017

What are the chances the D-backs make a deal before Aug. 31?
-- Ken S., Phoenix

When we talked to general manager Mike Hazen a couple of days ago, he told us that those chances are slim. Though the D-backs continue to scan the waiver wires for who might be available (remember players have to clear waivers in order to be dealt after July 31) before the Aug. 31 deadline for players to be eligible for a postseason roster, Hazen said he fully expects that the team that finishes the 2017 season will be comprised of players already with Arizona or in the Minor League system.
Why did manager Torey Lovullo start T.J. McFarland instead of against the Twins on Sunday?
-- Dave K., Peoria, Ariz.

The D-backs are not always forthcoming about all the reasons for their decisions when it comes to the rotation (and in fairness, that's similar to a lot of teams) because they don't want to reveal too much about some of the things that go into those decisions. They liked the idea of the left-handed McFarland against some of the hitters in Minnesota's lineup. That obviously didn't play out the way Arizona planned. But for me, the bigger question was why the D-backs didn't stick with and just have him make one more big league start before sending him back to Triple-A Reno when Robbie Ray rejoins the rotation this week. Maybe Banda would have struggled as well, but at least it would have saved them from all the juggling they had to do with the roster these past few days.
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Why are the D-backs still running Chris Herrmann out there at this point in the season? 
-- Curt H., Sedona, Ariz.

Herrmann gives the D-backs great flexibility on the roster because of his ability to not only catch, but also play the corner-infield spots. I know that he has not had a ton of success at the plate this year, but when you watch him, it sure seems like he's having good at-bats even, when the results aren't there. It also seems like there have been a number of balls that Herrmann has hit hard and had little to show for it.