Notes: Bumgarner throws; Young filling in

August 15th, 2020

Left-hander Alex Young will get the start Saturday night for the D-backs against the Padres, taking the place of veteran southpaw , who was placed on the injured list earlier this week with a mid-back strain.

With Bumgarner out, the D-backs had three main options -- Young, Taylor Clarke or Taylor Widener. All three were primarily starters who had shifted to the bullpen this year after Merrill Kelly won the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

After much internal discussion, the D-backs settled on Young, who was 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA in seven relief appearances. Two of those came against the Padres, and he allowed one run over four innings in those outings.

The 26-year-old Young made his big league debut last year, and in 17 games (15 starts), he went 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA.

“I think a lot of people put in their opinions, and when we sat down, we felt like Alex is going to give us a best chance to win a baseball game,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “And it was a hard decision, it was a very difficult decision, because two Taylors were throwing the ball extremely well, but, you know, this is where we wound up. And once again, you know it's kind of, what are we going to do today? What do we do five days from now? It's a longer, more drawn out model than just Saturday.”

Bumgarner threw a 38-pitch bullpen session Thursday and was set to be re-evaluated to figure out what the next step would be for him. When he was initially placed on the injured list, general manager Mike Hazen said the team thought Bumgarner would miss a couple starts.

Young threw two innings of relief Monday and two-thirds of an inning Tuesday, both against the Rockies at Coors Field.

“I'm excited just to be able to pitch. It means a lot to fill in that role,” Young said. “I mean, I'm just going to go out there and do what I've been doing -- continue to pound the strike zone and try to get quick outs and see what happens.”

Because Young is not stretched out as a starter, he said he thinks four innings might be around the maximum he can go, or about 85 pitches.

50/50 behind the plate
Over the past six games, Lovullo said he wanted to get Stephen Vogt more work behind the plate, which is why Vogt started four games at catcher to Carson Kelly's two.

Now, it looks like it will be more of an even split moving forward.

“It's going to probably flatten out and be 50/50,” Lovullo said. “I just was sorting through that and going through some of the matchups that I liked, and I think there's a lot of familiarity between a pitcher and a catcher that works for both. So, I'll try to continue those relationships, but I also have to be mindful of offensive matchups, and I want to put our catchers in the best position to have a good offensive game as well.”