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2011 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2011-articles/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:33:06 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Jason Kubel Adds a Much Needed LH Bat, But Where Will He Play? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/december/jason-adds-a-much-needed-lh-bat-but-where-will-he-play.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/december/jason-adds-a-much-needed-lh-bat-but-where-will-he-play.html In a very surprising move, the Diamondbacks signed OF Jason Kubel to a 2 year, $15M deal with an option for 2014. There is no question that Kubel can hit, but where will he play on the field?

The Diamondbacks seemed set in the outfield, with Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Gerardo Parra returning. This was a very good group defensively, with Parra collecting 12 Outfield Assists and winning a Gold Glove in LF. Parra was a surprise offensively in 2011, posting career highs in AVG (.292), OBP (.357), and SLG (.427). Upton is coming off a .289/.369/.529 season with 31 HR, and will clearly be the starting RF. Chris Young was good defensively in CF, but only hit .236/.331/.420. Paul Goldschmidt was expected to be the starting 1B, coming off a .250/.333/.474 performance since his August call-up, with Lyle Overbay serving as the backup. Now, the Diamondbacks certainly have more options.

There are several possible scenarios that could happen:
1) Kubel becomes the everyday LF, with Gerardo Parra becoming the 4th OF;
2) Kubel starts in LF, with Parra in CF against RHP, with Parra/Young starting against LHP
3) Kubel starts in LF, and Parra takes over in CF, with Chris Young traded;
4) Kubel starts in LF against RHP, with Parra starting against LHP;
5) Kubel platoons with Paul Goldschmidt at 1B;
6) Kubel rotates between 1B and LF, depending on slumps and injuries;
7) Kubel becomes a very expensive pinch hitter and backup at 1B/LF.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) December Mon, 19 Dec 2011 16:42:58 +0000
Diamondbacks and Rays Are Two Playoff Teams with Opening Day Payrolls below $55M http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/diamondbacks-and-rays-are-two-playoff-teams-with-opening-day-payrolls-below-55m.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/diamondbacks-and-rays-are-two-playoff-teams-with-opening-day-payrolls-below-55m.html This year, the 2011 Playoffs include two playoff teams that rank near the bottom in team payroll. Based on the opening day team salary numbers, the Diamondbacks rank #25 at $53.6M and the Rays are #29 at $41.1M. Interestingly, both teams had cut their payroll significantly this year, with the D'Backs dropping from $60.7M (#24 in 2010) and the Rays coming down from $71.9M (#19).

At the other end of the spectrum are the Yankees and Phillies, whose $202.7M and $173.0M payrolls rank #1 and #2. Filling out the 2011 playoffs are four teams from the middle of the payroll pack - Tigers ($105.7M, #10), Cardinals ($105.4M, #11), Rangers ($92.3M, #13) and the Brewers ($85.5M, #17).

The chart belows shows a graph of team wins plotted with opening day payroll.

2011 Wins and Opening Day Team Payroll

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 30 Sep 2011 18:27:03 +0000
Diamondbacks Roster Expansion - Who might get called up on Friday? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/august/diamondbacks-roster-expansion-who-might-get-called-up-on-friday.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/august/diamondbacks-roster-expansion-who-might-get-called-up-on-friday.html Everything has been going right for the Diamondbacks over the last nine days, but the team can always use some extra options for the bench and the bullpen. Teams are allowed to expand their rosters after September 1st, so expect some additions for the start of the weekend series in San Francisco. However, since both AAA Reno and AA Mobile will be in their league playoffs next week, the team's options might be restricted. But the Major League team always get priority if they think they really need a minor leaguer.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) August Thu, 01 Sep 2011 04:34:57 +0000
By Acquiring Jason Marquis, the Diamondbacks Indirectly Improve Their Bullpen http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/july/by-acquiring-jason-marquis-the-diamondbacks-indirectly-improve-their-bullpen.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/july/by-acquiring-jason-marquis-the-diamondbacks-indirectly-improve-their-bullpen.html On Saturday, the Diamondbacks acquired veteran righthander Jason Marquis from the Washington Nationals for Class A infielder Zach Walters. Marquis will move into the starting rotation on Wednesday against the Giants, and will push either Josh Collmenter or Micah Owings back to the bullpen. Either way, the team's bullpen will be improved, as both Collmenter and Owings have pitched well in relief this year, and either could move into the 7th inning relief role.

Marquis, 32, has a career ERA of 4.52 (ERA+ = 97), and a slightly higher FIP of 4.77 and xFIP of 4.61. He has pitched reasonable well for four of the last five seasons. He was terrible in 2010 (6.62 ERA in 57.2 IP), but has bounced back in 2011 with a 3.95 ERA. He has never been a strikeout pitcher, with a career mark of 5.2K/9, and also has a somewhat high walk rate of 3.5BB/9. What has kept him in the Majors is his Ground Ball rate of 50.3% and a low Home Rate of 1.1HR/9.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) July Sun, 31 Jul 2011 01:42:52 +0000
Diamondbacks 2011 Draft Preview http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/may/diamondbacks-2011-draft-preview.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/may/diamondbacks-2011-draft-preview.html One month ago, many Diamondbacks' fans had almost given up on this season, and were really excited about the 2011 MLB June Draft. But a 19-10 record in the month of May catapulted the team all the way into 1st Place in the NL West, and suddenly the draft faded a little in significance.  But the team does have two of the first seven picks, and this draft will be critical in the long-term success of the franchise.  The second choice at #7 is a compensation pick for Barret Loux in 2010, who was not signed due to injury concerns. This pick will be an unprotected pick, meaning that if that player is not signed, the Diamondbacks will not get a compensation choice in 2012. This may lead the team to go for a "safe" player here who is likely to sign, rather than a high school player who may need a big contract to keep him from college. Here is a look at some of the prospects who the Diamondbacks are considering at Picks #3 and #7. The draft will be held on Monday, June 6th.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) May Wed, 01 Jun 2011 16:20:34 +0000
Diamondbacks Send Hester to Orioles to Complete Reynolds Trade http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/april/diamondbacks-send-hester-to-orioles-to-complete-reynolds-trade.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/april/diamondbacks-send-hester-to-orioles-to-complete-reynolds-trade.html The Diamondbacks sent Catcher John Hester to the Baltimore Orioles to complete last year's Mark Reynolds trade. Hester, 27, had excellent numbers for Reno in the Pacific Coast League in 2009 and 2010, but had not played very well in the majors, either offensively or defensively.


2008 (AA) .268 .302 .474 11 49 16 78
2009 (AAA) .328 .375 .535 9 66 22 65
2010 (AAA) .370 .440 .667 7 29 16 26
2011 (AAA) .263 .326 .421 1 5 4 6


2009 (NL) .250 .300 .429 1 4 2 7
2010 (NL) .211 .292 .347 2 7 11 32

Aside from the poor hitting with the Diamondbacks, Hester was doomed by poor defensive results in the Majors. In 2010, he only threw out 3 of 24 base stealers (12.5%), and allowed 21 Wild Pitches and 4 Passed Balls in 239.1 Innings (1 every 9.56 Innings). In comparison, Miguel Montero, not known as a great defensive catcher himself, only allowed 36 Wild Pitches and 6 Passed Balls in 658.1 Innings (1 every 15.67 Innings).

Hester had also been passed on the AAA depth chart by Konrad Schmidt, who is hitting .380/.415/.580 this year, and would be the player called up if a replacement was needed for Montero or Henry Blanco. 

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) April Sat, 30 Apr 2011 21:47:24 +0000
5th Starter Options for the Diamondbacks http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/5th-starter-options-for-the-diamondbacks.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/5th-starter-options-for-the-diamondbacks.html With spring training a few weeks away, the Diamondbacks have several options for the 5th Starter slot. The Top 4 should be set with Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, and Zach Duke. The top candidates for the 5th slot are Barry Enright, newly acquired Armando Galarraga, and converted reliever Aaron Heilman.  Longer shots for the #5 spot are rookies Jarrod Parker and Wade Miley, and newly returned Diamondback Micah Owings.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Wed, 26 Jan 2011 05:55:59 +0000
What Should the Diamondbacks Expect from Trevor Cahill? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/december/what-should-the-diamondbacks-expect-from-trevor-cahill.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/december/what-should-the-diamondbacks-expect-from-trevor-cahill.html The Diamondbacks made a big trade during the Winter Meetings, trading top prospect RHP Jarrod Parker, along with OF Collin Cowgill and RP Ryan Cook, to the Oakland A's for pitchers RHP Trevor Cahill and LHP Craig Breslow. The Diamondbacks are trading a player with a lot of upside in Parker for the more established Major Leaguer in Cahill. But is important to note that while Cahill has already pitched for three years in the Majors, with 96 Games Started and 40 Wins, he is only 8 months older than Parker, who spend most of 2011 in AA Mobile. Cahill is already signed to a reasonable contract through 2015, so the Diamondbacks will be able to keep him for several years. But the big question is - how good is Trevor Cahill, and is he likely to be better than Jarrod Parker during that time?

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) December Sun, 11 Dec 2011 23:32:25 +0000
2011 NL MVP Rankings http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/november/201-nl-mvp-rankings.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/november/201-nl-mvp-rankings.html The National League MVP Award will be announced on Tuesday, November 22. The Diamondbacks' Justin Upton is expected to be among the leading vote getters, but the favorites to win should be Matt Kemp of the Dodgers and Ryan Braun of the Brewers. Here is how I would fill out my MVP ballot. (Here are links to previous articles on the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards). 

1. Matt Kemp, CF, LAD - .324/.399/.586, 115 R, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 40 SB, 10.0 bWAR, 8.7 fWAR
Kemp led the NL in HR, RBI, Runs Scored, Total Bases, and OPS+ (171). He finished 2nd in Slugging Percentage, 3rd in Batting Average, 4th in On-Base Percentage, and 2nd in Stolen Bases.  His counting stats were easily the best in the NL, and his rate stats were about the same as Ryan Braun's. But Kemp passes Braun because he played in more games and because of park effects - Dodger Stadium was a slight pitcher's park, while Miller Park was a pretty good park for hitters. Kemp also was productive running the bases, and improved on his disastrous fielding numbers in 2010 to become average defensively in 2011. The Fans' Scouting Report gave Kemp a score of 67 this year, a solid improvement from the 59 in 2010. Kemp's UZR went from -25.7 to -4.6, and his Defensive Runs Saved went from -15 to +1.  On Tuesday, Kemp should join fellow NL K Winners Kershaw, Kimbrel, and Kirk (Gibson).

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) November Mon, 21 Nov 2011 18:32:30 +0000
2011 Arizona Diamondbacks Recap - The Offense http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/october/2011-arizona-diamondbacks-recap-the-offense.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/october/2011-arizona-diamondbacks-recap-the-offense.html Coming into the 2011 season, the big question was how would the Diamondbacks' offense perform without slugging infielders Adam LaRoche and Mark Reynolds? They were expected to be replaced by Juan Miranda and Melvin Mora, which seemed like a certain downgrade from 2010. But the offensive results were much better than expected, partly due to strong seasons from Justin Upton and Miguel Montero as well as breakouts from Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra. Overall, the team ended up scoring 18 more runs in 2011 than in 2010, even though offense around the league was down significantly. How did this happen? It turns out that the answer is probably not because of better clutch hitting, fewer strikeouts, or more productive outs. The team scored more runs in 2011 because of better baserunning.

2011 4.51 (4th) .250 .322 .413 99 (4th) 731 172 133/44 531 1249
2010 4.40 (8th) .250 .325 .416 94 (7th) 713 180 86/41 589 1529


amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:38:15 +0000