The Diamondbacks were back home last night for the first time since 19 firefighters lost their lives while battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona last Sunday. For their game against the Rockies, the team paid tribute to the fallen firefighters by wearing special black jerseys with a “19” patch on the front. They also had a No. 19 behind the plate.
Below is a video of the pre-game ceremony honoring those who lost their lives:
Both teams also wore Prescott Fire Department hats during batting practice. Tyler Emerick of MLB.com notes that the Diamondbacks have petitioned to wear the hats during this weekend’s series. It’s unclear whether MLB will allow them to do it.
The Diamondbacks are already involved in a number of fundraising efforts for the families of the victims. They recently matched $100,000 in contributions from fans via Diamondbacks.com and pledge to match $100,000 more. They are also auctioning off autographed black jerseys from this weekend and signed nameplates from the team’s clubhouse. You can check that out here.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.