PHOENIX – The process appears slow and deliberate and that’s exactly the way the Arizona Diamondbacks view the development. The call-up of a prospect is not based upon an emotional response nor an immediate decision.
Rather, the organization makes a conscience effort to introduce players to the major league level slowly, and foster interaction with coaches. The goal is observation internally and not from the distance of the minor leagues.
When the Arizona Diamondbacks made the decision to promote outfielder Corbin Carroll on Monday, that was the process outlined. During a rehab period last season, Carroll, rated between number one and five, depending on who you believe, was brought to Phoenix, rehabbed at Chase Field, recovered, and began the process of transitioning to the major league level.
While Carroll’s minor league numbers are impressive (.303 between AA Amarillo and AAA Reno, 23 home runs, 61 RBIs), the incentive for his promotion had everything to do with an attempt to solidify the future than promoting a worthy candidate. After arriving in Chase Field Monday, Carroll was thrust into the lineup for the opening game of a three-game set against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies and demonstrated why the Diamondbacks justified his promotion.
“I was not as nervous as thought I might be,” Carroll said after his major league debut of a 1-for-5 night, a double, and two RBIs. “It felt comfortable. Playing with these guys before, playing at Chase before, and all of the factors, it was fun. I was aware of my breathing and made sure I was staying calm. It felt like being out there with friends.”
If Carroll attempted to successfully transition to the highest level in the game, the night for the 22-year-old outfielder and Arizona franchise was historic. Down 7-0 in the fourth, the Diamondbacks rallied for a 13-7 victory Monday night before 18,594 in Chase Field. The comeback was the largest in franchise history and threw Carroll directly in the middle of the celebration.
First, Carroll knocked in Emmanuel Rivera in the fourth on a ball which second baseman Jean Segura was credited with an error and no RBI. Then, he followed with a two-run double into the gap in left-center in the fifth. Afterward, manager Torey Lovullo placed Carroll’s night within the perspective of the victory.
“I thought (Carroll) managed the game really, really well,” Lovullo said. “It’s hard to walk into a situation which he did. I’m sure there were a lot of eyes on him, and many different demands on his time throughout the course of the day. Then, he goes out there and has the big hit, that double. That to me is someone who is ready, prepared, committed to the process and executed a really good plan.”
In gaining the win, the Diamondbacks batted around in consecutive innings and put up six runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings The key hit was a bases-loaded double from Caron Kelly into the right field corner in the fifth. Plus, the Diamondbacks were the recipients of six walks and a hit batter in those two innings.
First baseman Christian Walker reached base four times (three walks and a single.) Each Geraldo Perdomo (two walks and a single) and Ketel Marte (single, double, walk) reached base three times.
The Philly connection … with the Phillies in Chase Field for three games, several members of the Diamondbacks retain strong connections to Philadelphia.
First baseman Christian Walker grew up in the suburb of Norristown, the same area as Tommy Lasorda and Mike Piazza. Pitcher Zac Gallen is from southern New Jersey, across the Delaware river and is considered a major component of the greater Philadelphia market. Outfielder Jake McCarthy grew up in Scranton, about a two-hour drive north of Philly.
“There’s always something nostalgic about playing against the Phillies uniform,” Walker said before the series opener Monday night. “I grew up watching that team and still have family in the area. I had favorite players from those early 2000s teams, like Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard. There was a handful of years where (Howard) led the league in home runs.”
Gallen (9-2, 2.66 ERA) has an opportunity to face his hometown team this week, On Tuesday, he is scheduled in a marquee matching with Phillies’ right-hander Aaron Nola (9-10, 3.08).
This series .. after the Gallen-Nola match-up on Tuesday night, a pair of lefties close out this set on Wednesday night. Look for Lovullo to send Tommy Henry (3-2, 3.25) to the hill and he will be opposed by Bailey Falter (2-3, 4.41). Then, the Milwaukee Brewers close out the home stand with four over the Labor Day weekend.