Gallen adjusts to new rules: ‘Really? Roll it?’

March 1st, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- was confused when he heard the D-backs' dugout yell, "Roll the inning!"

This spring, as part of the COVID-19 protocols, a team can end an inning -- roll an inning -- after a pitcher has thrown 20 pitches, which is where Gallen was in the first inning after striking out a batter, walking two and getting a flyout.

"I didn’t know that was a thing this year," Gallen said. "So when I heard, 'Roll,' I thought it was a joke."

When did he realize it was for real?

"When everyone started walking off the field," Gallen said. "I didn’t know what was going on. I think I looked at [pitching coach Matt Herges] like three or four times. I was like, ‘Really? Roll it?’"

Gallen got two scoreless innings of work in while allowing two hits and two walks as the D-backs fell to the Rockies, 5-2.

It wasn't a bad outing, but it wasn't up to the standards that Gallen holds himself to.

"I want to be in midseason form the first day I come out here," he said. "Stuff like that kind of ticks me off. It takes some time to get used to seeing another team in the box, another team across the field. Certain things like that. Reminding yourself of those cues. You can get really good at catch-play and bullpens and live BPs, but there’s nothing that can really get you ready for seeing another team and another guy in the box."

Great to see you!
Tickets were limited to 2,100 for the game, which is small compared to the usual attendance, but it may as well have been 50,000 for the players, who were thrilled to have fans back after performing in empty ballparks in 2020.

"Today was a little extra special because we got to see some fans in the stands," D-backs outfielder David Peralta said.

Peralta had his wife and two daughters in attendance, and he also made the day for a couple of young fans.

"I think I was the first guy to throw a ball to the fans," Peralta said. "I think I was the first one. I really missed that. I had a couple of kids asking for the ball. I’m like, 'Yeah, I’m going to be the first guy.' That’s the part that you miss. You make the day for the little fans who come to watch you play. I think that was the part that I missed from last year."

(Don't) read between the lines
Especially in the early going of Spring Training, manager Torey Lovullo cautioned against reading too much into his lineups.

Position players are not playing every day yet and Lovullo needs to put out a representative lineup each day that includes a handful of regulars per MLB guidelines. And when it comes to their positioning in the lineup, sometimes that's done based on who is scheduled to come in and replace that player and where Lovullo wants to see the backup hit.

When the D-backs play host to the Brewers on Monday, catcher Stephen Vogt will hit leadoff.

There's no chance Vogt will ever hit leadoff during the regular season, but Lovullo wants to make sure he gets him two at-bats before getting his replacement in the game.

"There's a lot of moving parts to why I'm hitting guys in certain spots," Lovullo said. "For right now, no, there's no reason why [a player is] hitting fifth or seventh, or you might even see him lead off in a situation where I want to get him a ton of at-bats against that particular matchup."

Happy Birthday! (sort of)
D-backs reliever Stefan Crichton will turn 29 at some point before Monday. The right-hander was born on Feb. 29, 1992, making him a "leap-year baby" and since this is not a leap year, he'll wake up a year older Monday.

The D-backs traded lefty Travis Bergen to the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations.

Bergen, who the D-backs acquired at last year's Trade Deadline as part of the Robbie Ray deal, was designated for assignment last week.

Up next
The Brewers visit Salt River Fields on Monday afternoon with right-hander Merrill Kelly starting for the D-backs. Righties Riley Smith, Josh Green, Taylor Guilbeau and lefty Joe Mantiply are also scheduled to pitch for Arizona.

Corbin Burnes will start for Milwaukee.