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2010 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2010-articles/october/ Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:52:50 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Does New Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers Hate Strikeouts? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/does-new-diamondbacks-gm-kevin-towers-hate-strikeouts.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/does-new-diamondbacks-gm-kevin-towers-hate-strikeouts.html When Kevin Towers was hired as GM of the Diamondbacks last month, one particular comment in his press conference attracted a great deal of attention.  "There's some nice hitters on this ballclub, but the strikeouts are somewhat alarming," Towers said. "That's something we certainly need to cut back." In another interview, Towers added to this point, saying "Personally, I like contact hitters. I like guys that have good pitch recognition. Strikeouts are part of the game, but if you have four or five or six guys in your lineup, it's hard to sustain any sort of rally."

These reports immediately led to speculation among the team's fans that players like Mark Reynolds are likely to be traded, and even worse, that Towers would like to fill the lineup with "contact" hitters like Juan Pierre or David Eckstein. But should we really be worried about these comments? Well, one important statement that Towers added in his comments was " I'd like to see breaking records for walks more than strikeouts," a statement that virtually all of the team's fans would support. Can we learn anything from Towers' track record as GM of the Padres?

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Wed, 20 Oct 2010 14:44:33 +0000
How Would Yu Darvish Look in a Diamondbacks Uniform? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/how-would-yu-darvish-look-in-a-diamondbacks-uniform.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/how-would-yu-darvish-look-in-a-diamondbacks-uniform.html Rumors have been circulating that the Diamondbacks are preparing a big offer to bring Japanese pitching star Yu Darvish to the United States. And the number being floated is $80M, which presumably would cover the posting fee as well as a multi-year contract. What do we know about Darvish, and would he be likely to succeed in the Major Leagues? First, here are a look at Darvish's stats in the Japanese League.
Year Age W L ERA IP WHIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
2005 18 5 5 3.53 94 1.64 4.96 4.58 0.67
2006 19 12 5 2.89 149 1.28 6.92 3.85 0.72
2007 20 15 5 1.82 207 0.83 9.10 2.12 0.39
2008 21 16 4 1.88 200 0.90 9.33 1.97 0.49
2009 22 15 5 1.73 182 0.90 8.26 2.23 0.45
2010 23 12 8 1.78 202 1.01 9.89 2.09 0.22
TOTAL 75 32 2.12 1036 1.02 8.46 2.58 0.46
Darvish began his pro career in 2005 at the age of 18, and quickly established himself as one of the top pitchers in Japan. Pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish has twice won the Pacific League MVP Award (2007, 2009), and has also led the league in ERA and strikeouts twice. He has won the MVP of the Climax Series (Playoffs) and the Asia Series (played between the champions of China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan), and has even won two Gold Gloves for his fielding.  At the age of 23, he is already the highest paid pitcher in the Pacific League. In 2009, Darvish pitched in the World Baseball Classic, which gave the United States (and the PitchFX system) a good look at his pitching repertoire.
2 1 2.08 13 1.00 13.85 4.15 0.00
Darvish was very impressive in the WBC, leading the Japan team to its second championship. He has a smooth, easy throwing motion, and can throw five or six different pitches for strikes. In the WBC,  he threw both a two-seam and a four-seam fastball, typically in the 94-95 mph range, and topping out at 97.9 mph. He also threw a variety of other pitches, including a cut fastball, slider, and a slow curve near 70 mph. Hitters had a tough time with all of his pitches, swinging at missing at almost 40% of their swings, and rarely hitting anything hard. A detailed look at Darvish's WBC outings using the PitchFX system can be found at Beyond the Boxscore. Many videos of Darvish can be seen on YouTube: Japan Highlights, WBC Japan vs. Korea, WBC Japan vs. USA (9th Inning) So it does seem that Darvish is better than the Japanese League pitchers that have come to the U.S. recently - Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kenshin Kawakami, Hiroki Kuroda, Koji Uehara, Takashi Saito, even Colby Lewis. But is it realistic that the Diamondbacks could sign him, and how much would it cost? First, many other teams have also been linked to Darvish, including the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Mariners, Orioles, and Rangers.  And would $80M even be enough?  In 2006, the Red Sox paid a $51M posting fee to the Seibu Lions for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka, and then gave him a six year, $52M contract. It wouldn't be surprising for Darvish to cost even more, since he is both younger and better than Matsuzaka. Another factor to consider is the injury risk factor. Darvish has already thrown over 1000 innings by the age of 24, and his pitch counts have been very high, at least by American standards. This year, he topped 140 pitches in a game half a dozen times, and averaged over 125 pitches per start. Darvish also missed a few games in 2009 with shoulder fatigue, and had some hip issues during that season, but he appeared healthy in 2010.  Another mitigating factor is that Darvish has had more rest between starts than most MLB pitchers, pitching every seventh day instead of every 5th day. Also, many analysts say that Darvish often tries to "pitch to contact" so he can stay in games longer, and therefore does not exert maximum effort on every pitch. Conclusions I think Yu Darvish would easily be the best pitcher to come to the United States from Japan, and could likely become an ace in the major leagues. If it was just a matter of signing Darvish to a multi-year contract, he would be the best option on the free agent market. But the problem with signing Darvish is the Japanese posting system, which will probably require sending tens of millions of dollars to the Nippon Ham Fighters just to negotiate with Darvish. If that number turns out to be $50M, it's hard to see how the Diamondbacks could afford it, since the entire team payroll in 2010 was only $75M. On the other hand, if the Diamondbacks could get Darvish for a posting fee of around $20-25M, I think that's a risk the team should take.]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Fri, 15 Oct 2010 16:01:49 +0000
Seven Diamondbacks begin play in the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/seven-diamondbacks-begin-play-in-the-arizona-fall-league-on-tuesday.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/seven-diamondbacks-begin-play-in-the-arizona-fall-league-on-tuesday.html The Arizona Fall League starts on Tuesday, October 12th, and seven Diamondbacks' prospects will be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Diamondbacks will be represented by four Pitchers, Josh Collmenter, Bryan Shaw, Daniel Stange, and Bryan Woodall, as well as Catcher Konrad Schmidt and Outfielders Marc Krauss and A.J. Pollock.  Pollock, a 1st Round Pick in 2009, missed the entire 2010 season after elbow surgery, but is expected to make his return in the AFL.
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Tue, 12 Oct 2010 15:50:03 +0000
A Look at the Draft Record of Fired Scouting Director Tom Allison http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/a-look-at-the-draft-record-of-fired-scouting-director-tom-allison.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/a-look-at-the-draft-record-of-fired-scouting-director-tom-allison.html On Wednesday, the Diamondbacks announced the firing of Scouting Director Tom Allison, who has been offered another job within the organization. This move came just after the team announced the hiring of Kevin Towers as General Manager and Jerry DiPoto as Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development. Allison had presided over the team's drafts from 2007-2010, which brought in talents such as Jarrod Parker, Barry Enright, and the strong class of 2009. Let's take a more detailed look at the drafts under Tom Allison.
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Fri, 08 Oct 2010 15:53:03 +0000
Ranking the Diamondbacks for 2010 http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/ranking-the-diamondbacks-for-2010.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/october/ranking-the-diamondbacks-for-2010.html rankings from the All Star Break, the top Diamondback player for the year is the same one who has been the team leader all year - 2B Kelly Johnson. Johnson led the Diamondbacks in AVG at .284, OBP at .370, and SLG at .496. Moving up to the #2 slot in the year-end rankings is SS Stephen Drew, who finished second on the team in OPS at .810 while playing solid defense at SS. Chris Young finished a solid #3 after leading the team in HR and SB, and Daniel Hudson, acquired in the Edwin Jackson, rocketed all the way up to #4 by throwing 11 straight Quality Starts for the Diamondbacks. Juan Gutierrez advanced to #15 after two excellent months to close the season. Moving down during the second half were 3B Mark Reynolds (#7 down to #12) after a .686 second-half OPS, and IF Tony Abreu (#20 to #31). Here are my final rankings for the 2010 season, as well as the standings at the one-quarter and one-half points of the season:
Yr ASB Jun Player Comment
1 1 1 Kelly Johnson, 2B Led team in AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS
2 4 4 Stephen Drew, SS .810 OPS and solid defense
3 2 2 Chris Young, CF Led team in HR (27) and SB (28)
4 x x Daniel Hudson, SP 7-1, 1.69 ERA, 70K/16BB in 11 GS
5 3 8 Justin Upton, RF Dropped in every key stat except BBs
6 6 5 Ian Kennedy, SP 3.80 ERA, 168K/70BB in 194 IP
7 8 21 Miguel Montero, C .770 OPS with improved defense
8 13 3 Adam LaRoche, 1B 25 HR and team-leading 100 RBI
9 14 - Barry Enright, SP 2.45 ERA in first 12 G,  8.06 in last 5
10 5 7 Dan Haren, SP 4.60 ERA with D'backs; 2.87 with Angels
11 9 9 Chris Snyder, C Hit 10 HR with .778 OPS
12 7 6 Mark Reynolds, 3B OPS dropped from .892 to .753 in 2010
13 x x Joe Saunders, SP 4.25 ERA in 13 G with D'Backs
14 16 24 Gerardo Parra, OF Didn't hit, but played excellent defense
15 23 31 Juan Gutierrez, RP 1.45 ERA with 12 SV over last 2 months
16 x x Brandon Allen, LF .267/.393/.400 in 56 PA, with 10BB/20K
17 X X Ryan Church, OF .835 OPS after .552 with Pirates
18 10 11 Edwin Jackson, SP 5.16 ERA with D'backs; 3.24 with WSox
19 11 10 Aaron Heilman, RP held LHB to .647 OPS; 5.34 ERA in 2H
20 x x D.J. Carrasco, RP 3.18 ERA, but 12 BB in 22.2 IP
21 12 12 Rodrigo Lopez, SP Led team with 200 IP, but had 5.00 ERA
22 19 29 Blaine Boyer, RP 3.72 ERA in 2H, finished  w 29K/29BB
23 18 17 Esm. Vasquez, RP Led club with 9.2K/9 IP, but 6.4BB/9
24 28 23 Carlos Rosa, RP Finished year with 7 scoreless games
25 x x Mike Hampton, RP 4.1 scoreless IP in comeback
26 21 14 Conor Jackson, LF Never found power before trade
27 17 18 Rusty Ryal, OF .656 OPS with 67 K/8 BB
28 15 x Sam Demel, RP 5.35 ERA but had 33K/12BB in 37 IP
29 22 19 Kris Benson, SP 2 Quality Starts before injury
30 30 25 John Hester, C .780 OPS and 2 HR after August recall
31 20 13 Tony Abreu, MI .244 OBP and brutal 47K/4BB ratio
32 25 20 Cole Gillespie, OF .766 OPS against RHP, .515 vs LHP
33 x x Zach Kroenke, SP Earned Win with 5 IP, 1 ER on 10/1
34 27 30 Jor. Norberto, RP Walked 22 batters in 20 IP
35 24 16 Leo Rosales, RP Allowed runs in only 5 of 16 outings
36 31 x Ryan Roberts, LF .577 OPS; could never earn more PT
37 29 26 Augie Ojeda, MI .486 OPS may be end of D'Backs career
38 x x Konrad Schmidt, C Collected first ML hit
39 x x Bobby Crosby, SS Never had a role with D'Backs
40 32 - Dontrelle Willis, SP 6.85 ERA and 27 BB in 22.1 IP
41 33 27 Cesar Valdez, RP 7.65 ERA and 1.95 WHIP for year
42 26 15 Chad Qualls, CL Had 8.29 ERA, 2.00 WHIP for D'Backs
43 35 28 Kevin Mulvey, RP Allowed 7 baserunners in 3 IP
44 36 32 Bob Howry, RP 6 HR, 17 ER in 14.1 IP; now with Cubs
45 34 22 Billy Buckner, SP ERA up to 11.08 before trade
46 37 33 Daniel Stange, RP 6 ER and 6 BB in 4 IP
47 38 34 Saul Rivera, RP ERA of 22.09; 9 ER in 3.2 IP
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Tue, 05 Oct 2010 15:44:23 +0000