Lowdown: National Intrigue

Lowdown: National Intrigue
Washington's uncertain situation in the ninth, and new addition behind the plate, are top stories in our latest Lowdown.
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Dawel Lugo homered Wednesday in the Diamondbacks' spring training win over Grand Canyon University.

He opened the fourth inning with a line drive homer to left field. Lugo also scored on a double by Oswaldo Arcia after pinch-running for Jake Lamb in the first. The 22-year-old was a beast in the minors last year, hitting .311 with 17 homers and 62 RBI between High-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile. Lugo is inching closer to the big leagues. Maybe we'll even see him as a September call-up later this year.
Feb 22 - 5:48 PM

Jack Reinheimer plated a pair of runs Wednesday in the Diamondbacks' spring training win over Grand Canyon University.

Reinheimer only logged one at-bat in the Diamondbacks’ opener but made the most of it by ripping a two-run single to right field in the fifth inning. The 24-year-old will likely begin the year in Triple-A but he could make a big league cameo at some point in 2017. Reinheimer didn’t hit for much power last season (two homers in 500 at-bats) but made up for it by hitting .288 with 20 steals for Triple-A Reno.
Feb 22 - 5:39 PM

Jack Reinheimer plated a pair of runs Wednesday in the Diamondbacks' spring training win over Grand Canyon University.

Reinheimer only logged one at-bat in the Diamondbacks’ opener but made the most of it by ripping a two-run single to right field in the fifth inning. The 24-year-old will likely begin the year in Triple-A but he could make a big league cameo at some point in 2017. Reinheimer didn’t hit for much power last season (two homers in 500 at-bats) but made up for it by hitting .288 with 20 steals for Triple-A Reno.
Feb 22 - 5:39 PM

Anthony Banda picked up the win in his spring training debut Wednesday versus Grand Canyon University, yielding one walk in a scoreless inning of work.

Banda drew the start and navigated his way through a relatively uneventful first inning. 11 of his 19 pitches went for strikes and all three of his outs came on ground balls. The 23-year-old held his own at Triple-A last season, logging a respectable 3.67 ERA over 13 starts for Reno. He’s a long shot to make the D-backs' Opening Day roster but should debut in the big leagues at some point in 2017.
Feb 22 - 5:37 PM

Oswaldo Arcia supplied two hits Wednesday in the Diamondbacks' spring training win over Grand Canyon University.

Arcia plated a run with a first-inning double before clubbing a two-run homer in the fourth. It was a fine debut but Arcia will need to stay hot if he wants to make the Opening Day roster. The 25-year-old was a bit of a journeyman last year, appearing in games for four different clubs. The Diamondbacks have a full outfield at the moment, so the best Arcia could hope for is to make the team as a left-handed bench bat.
Feb 22 - 5:33 PM

Jake Lamb drove in a run Wednesday in the Diamondbacks' spring training win over Grand Canyon University.

Lamb doubled home a run in his only at-bat of the game. Dawel Lugo pinch-ran for him with one out in the first inning. Doubling against an obscure college in February doesn’t mean much, but Lamb should be in for another big season after breaking out for a career-high 29 homers in 2016. The 26-year-old boasts impressive power but will have to cut down on his strikeouts after whiffing 154 times in 523 at-bats last year.
Feb 22 - 5:30 PM

Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette passes along that Jason Stoffel (shoulder) is "expected to be cleared for bullpens shortly."

Stoffel is currently day-to-day with right shoulder discomfort. If he is to have any chance of landing a spot in the Pirates' Opening Day bullpen -- already a somewhat dubious proposition -- a rapid recovery will be paramount. Splitting time between Double- and Triple-A with the Orioles in 2016, the 28-year-old right-hander pitched to a 2.44 ERA with a 78/20 K/BB ratio over the course of 59 innings pitched. The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract at the end of November.
Feb 22 - 5:21 PM

Indians manager Terry Francona said that for the time being, the team has no plans to utilize Carlos Santana as an outfielder.

Santana, himself, said in a radio interview earlier in February that he planned on playing the outfield at times this coming season. That may still come to fruition, but it is not in the Indians' immediate plans. For his career, the 30-year-old has seen just two plate appearances as a left fielder, none in right or center.
Feb 22 - 5:07 PM
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