What are the percentages of us making the playoffs now?
-- Roman, Phoenix
Judging from my Twitter feed, it seems the odds of the Diamondbacks making the playoffs are down to zero percent. However, based on the projections at FanGraphs, they have an 88.4-percent chance, and they are all the way up at 92 percent according to Baseball Prospectus.
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While I know it is easy right now to be down on the way they've played for the last month, keep in mind that the D-backs built themselves a pretty nice cushion by virtue of the outstanding record compiled before the recent play. There also not a lot of teams breathing down their necks right now, because the National League is down a bit this year. While the D-backs will jockey with the Rockies for the top Wild Card spot, the only couple of teams that seem able to catch them from behind would be the Brewers (if the Cubs win the NL Central) and the Cardinals. Barring a complete collapse, it sure seems like the chances listed on the two sites above are pretty accurate.
Are there stats you can point to that [Torey] Lovullo's approach of different batting orders/more days off has made a difference?
-- Eddy, Phoenix
I'm not sure how I would go about doing that, Eddy. Especially on an individual basis. It reminds me a lot of 2011 when Kirk Gibson wanted to make sure that everyone got playing time. That was controversial at the time, but the team had success and Gibby was named NL Manager of the Year.
Lovullo had success in the first half of the season -- more than anyone expected -- so it's hard to question some of the moves he's made. According to Lovullo, the team has looked at games played by players who have missed an extended period of time the previous season, and that is what is guiding him when it comes to how often he plays outfielders A.J. Pollock and David Peralta.
What's going on with Yoan Lopez?
-- Damian, Boise, Idaho
Lopez is currently pitching in relief for Class A Visalia and having quite a bit of success. In 11 games, he has a 0.57 ERA and has struck out 28 while walking five.
Do the D-backs go with Patrick Corbin or Anthony Banda when Robbie Ray comes back?
-- Tylor, Kingman, Ariz.
I would think that they would go with Corbin. His start in Chicago was not very good, but he had pitched well before that and some defensive miscues behind him in his last start against the Giants played a role in his struggles.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.