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2011 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2011-articles/march/ Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:57:53 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Projections for the 2011 Diamondbacks' Pitchers http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/projections-for-the-2011-diamondbacks-pitchers.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/projections-for-the-2011-diamondbacks-pitchers.html Following up the projections for the hitters, here are my predictions for the Diamondbacks' pitchers for 2011. As a group, I am expecting a significant improvement from last year's team that gave up over 836 Runs. I predict this year's version will improve by around 50 to around 780 runs allowed.

Starting Pitchers
Daniel Hudson

Year IP W L ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
2009 (ML) 147.1 14 5 2.32 0.94 10.1 2.1 0.3
2009 18.2 1 1 3.38 1.34 6.8 4.3 1.4
2010 (AAA) 93.1 11 4 3.47 1.20 10.4 3.0 1.3
2010 95.1 8 2 2.45 1.00 7.9 2.5 0.8
2011 176.0 13 10 3.68 1.24 8.7 2.9 1.1

Although Hudson will not be the Opening Day starter, most expect him to be the team's best pitcher in 2011. After coming over from the White Sox in the Edwin Jackson trade, Hudson went 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA over 11 starts with the Diamondbacks. I'm not sure if he can limit the walks and home runs as well as he did last year, but he should still be a very good pitcher in 2011.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Thu, 31 Mar 2011 17:17:08 +0000
Projections for the 2011 Diamondbacks' Batters http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/projections-for-the-2011-diamondbacks-batters.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/projections-for-the-2011-diamondbacks-batters.html With the roster and playing time battles almost sorted out, it's time for my projections for the Diamondbacks' batters in 2011. Starting with the catchers...

Catcher

Miguel Montero AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009 425 61 125 16 59 1 38 78 .294 .355 .478
2010 297 36 79 9 43 0 29 71 .266 .332 .438
2011 475 63 133 18 72 1 43 91 .280 .341 .465

Montero should back from his injury-plagued 2010 season with a solid 2011 campaign. It is likely that he will bat in the middle of the lineup against RHP, which should give him plenty of RBI opportunities.

Henry Blanco AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2008 120 15 35 3 12 0 6 22 .292 .325 .392
2009 204 21 48 6 16 0 26 50 .235 .320 .382
2010 130 10 28 2 8 1 11 26 .215 .271 .300
2011 115 12 26 1 11 0 14 28 .226 .310 .330

If all goes well, Blanco should not see significant playing time in 2011. He should get a start or two per week, preferably against LHP, but will often be pinch-hit or pinch-run for in the late innings even when he does start. If an injury occurs to Montero, the team would probably bring up Konrad Schmidt or John Hester to play every day over Blanco.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Tue, 29 Mar 2011 18:42:18 +0000
Diamondbacks' Pitching Update 3/28 - Norberto, Rosa Out http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-pitching-update-328-norberto-rosa-out.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-pitching-update-328-norberto-rosa-out.html A few more pieces of the Diamondbacks' bullpen have been settled, as LHP Jordan Norberto and RHP Rafael Rodriguez have been optioned to AAA, RHP Carlos Rosa will apparently be sold to the Chiba Lotta Marines of the Japanese League. Norberto has walked 6 batters in 8.2 IP, and clearly needs to improve his control in the Minors. Rosa has had a decent spring (3.00 ERA, 9K/2BB in 9 IP), but apparently didn't impress enough to win a bullpen spot. Since Rosa is Out of Options, the team apparently will try to get some money for Rosa. That leaves the Diamondbacks' pitching staff as follows:

SP Ian Kennedy
SP Daniel Hudson
SP Joe Saunders (L)
SP Barry Enright
SP/RP Armando Galarraga
SP/RP Aaron Heilman
RP ????
RP Joe Paterson (L)
RP Juan Gutierrez
RP Sam Demel
RP David Hernandez
CL J.J. Putz 

DL Zach Duke (L)

That's 11 pitchers, leaving the 12th slot to either RHP Esmerling Vasquez or RHP Kam Mickolio. Vasquez (2.63 ERA) has not allowed an ER in his last five outings, but has a poor 5K/4BB ratio in  13.2 IP.  Mickolio has a higher ERA at 4.35, and has walked 6 batters in 10.1 IP, but also has struck out 13. Neither pitcher has allowed a HR this Spring.

The battle for the #5 Starter spot still has not been decided yet, as neither Galarraga or Heilman has done enough to win the job. Heilman's last start was a disaster, as he allowed 8 ER in 2 IP. His overall stats for the Spring are now a 7.03 ERA with 13K/6BB and 7 HR in 24.1 IP. Galarraga's overall numbers are not much better, with a 7.36 ERA and 12K/5BB and 3 HR in 22 IP, but Galarraga did complete 6 IP in his last start while only allowing 3 ER. That might be enough to put Galarraga in the lead for the moment.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:02:25 +0000
Diamondbacks Sign Kevin Frandsen as SS Insurance http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-sign-kevin-frandsen-as-ss-insurance.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-sign-kevin-frandsen-as-ss-insurance.html EDIT: The deal with Frandsen fell through, and he has signed with the Phillies on Monday, March 28.

The Diamondbacks have signed infielder Kevin Frandsen to a minor league contract and assigned him to AAA Reno. Frandsen was released by the Padres on Friday, and apparently had several teams interested in his services. By signing with the Diamondbacks, Frandsen can fill an important role by adding middle infield depth.  At this point, the Diamondbacks have Stephen Drew as the starter, but no real back-up for him, since utility players Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist aren't really capable of playing SS everyday. Tony Abreu has been the primary backup SS in Spring Training, but Abreu is out of options and may be lost on waivers if he does not make the Opening Day roster.  The team's depth at SS in the upper minor league levels is so weak that the team has been starting Chris Owings and Zach Walters at SS over the last few games, two players who were in Low-A ball last year, while Drew and Abreu battle day-to-day injuries.

Frandsen has never displayed much power, but has shown solid on-base skills, compiling a career .312/.376/.444 line in the Minors. At the Major League level, Frandsen had a decent season in 2007, going .269/.331/.379 in 264 ABs with the Giants. Since then, he hasn't spent much time in the Majors, with only 211 ABs over the last three years. His career numbers at the Major League Level are .243/.302/.335 with 36BB and 52K. He has played all over the diamond, with 95 games at 2B, 52 games at 3B, 32 games at SS, 14 games in the Outfield, and 4 Games at 1B. Defensively, his best position is probably 2B, although he is not known as a great defensive player.  Still, he is probably better at SS than Bloomquist and Roberts, and might be the team's best option at SS if Drew is injured and Abreu is lost on waivers.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Sat, 26 Mar 2011 04:46:09 +0000
Tony Abreu - Diamondbacks' Backup SS? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/tony-abreu-diamondbacks-backup-ss.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/tony-abreu-diamondbacks-backup-ss.html With Geoff Blum still struggling with a knee injury, the chances of infielder Tony Abreu making the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster are increasing. Blum hasn't played in a Spring Training game in over 10 days, and had an injection in his right knee on Tuesday. During the radio broadcast on Monday, GM Kevin Towers said that if the injections don't prove effective, "the alternative isn't good... it probably means microfracture surgery, which would keep him out for the year." In Steve Gilbert's column on Wednesday, he asked Manager Kirk Gibson when is the latest that Blum could get back on the field and still be ready for Opening Day, and Gibson declined to answer.  But as Gilbert suggests, that day must be approaching soon.

So if Blum is not ready for Opening Day, who is the backup shortstop to starter Stephen Drew? Based on Manager Kirk Gibson's lineups during Spring Training, the answer appears to be Tony Abreu. Over the last two weeks, the starting SS has been one of Stephen Drew, Tony Abreu, Ed Rogers, or Chris Owings, with Abreu getting the majority of the starts. Neither Rogers nor Owings is expected to make the team - Rogers is 31 and coming off a .282/.345/.403 season in AAA, while Owings has not played above Low-A ball yet.  And the other infielders battling for a spot on the team, Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist, have not played any SS at all this spring. Bloomquist only played 1 inning at SS in 2009, and Roberts has never played SS in the Majors. In today's game, Abreu was the scheduled starter but was a late scratch due to a back problem. But rather than start Roberts or Bloomquist, Gibson plugged in the 20 year old Owings.  If Gibson was planning to use Roberts or Bloomquist as the backup SS, he surely would get them some innings at the position during Spring Training. 

Abreu had a very disappointing season in 2010, hitting .233/.244/.316 for Arizona with a terrible 47/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. But his minor league track record shows that he should at least hit for average - he has a career .351/.391/.555 line in almost 600 AAA plate appearances, and this spring he has hit .365/.382/.538.  He still isn't drawing any walks, but at least he is hitting for a decent batting average.  Abreu is out of options this year, so if he does not make the Opening Day roster, he would be exposed to waivers. Before Blum's injury, Abreu's future with the Diamondbacks looked shaky. But now, it looks like the backup SS job will be his if Geoff Blum has to start the year on the Disabled List.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Thu, 24 Mar 2011 00:37:27 +0000
Diamondbacks Spring Training - Roster and Injury Update, March 22 http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-spring-training-roster-and-injury-update-march-22.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-spring-training-roster-and-injury-update-march-22.html Here is a quick summary of the roster and injury situation for the Diamondbacks heading into the final week of Spring Training.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Tue, 22 Mar 2011 15:51:31 +0000
FanGraphs ranks the Diamondbacks' Organization #29 out of 30 Teams http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/fangraphs-ranks-the-diamondbacks-organization-29-out-of-30-teams.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/fangraphs-ranks-the-diamondbacks-organization-29-out-of-30-teams.html The FanGraphs website has begun their overall rankings of the 30 organizations in Major League Baseball, and ranked the Arizona Diamondbacks at #29.  The rankings are based on a weighted average of four factors - Present Talent (30%), Future Talent (15%), Financial Resources (30%), and Baseball Operations (25%). Of course these rankings are highly subjective, but it is a little disappointing that the Diamondbacks finished ahead of only the Houston Astros, and dropped all the way down from #16 last year.  Here is how the Diamondbacks finished in each of the four parameters.

Overall - #29
Present Talent - #26
Future Talent - #16
Financial Operations - #27
Baseball Operations - #25

A big reason that the Baseball Operations team ranked so low is due to the change in personnel over the past year - the Diamondbacks have had three different General Managers over the past year, and seem to have had a change in their long-term plans. It is quite possible that after a year with new GM Kevin Towers in place, the Baseball Operations ranking will move up considerably, once a new "system" has been put in place. The other primary factor for the low ranking is the Financial side. The team has cut payroll quite a bit in the past year, including trading away players such as Dan Haren mainly to save money.  The best news is that the team is ranked #16 in future talent, and should build on that ranking as the team's low-level talent begins to advance through the system, and the team adds two top prospects with the #3 and #7 picks in the 2011 June draft.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Mon, 21 Mar 2011 21:58:33 +0000
Carlos Rosa - Is He a Possibility for the 2011 Diamondbacks Bullpen? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/carlos-rosa-is-he-a-possibility-for-the-2011-diamondbacks-bullpen.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/carlos-rosa-is-he-a-possibility-for-the-2011-diamondbacks-bullpen.html With two weeks left in Spring Training, the Diamondbacks' bullpen is starting to sort itself out. Four spots seem to be set, according to Steve Gilbert's column on mlb.com - J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Sam Demel, and Juan Gutierrez. A fifth spot will go to a lefthander, with Rule 5 pick Joe Paterson currently in the lead for that role.  That leaves two more spots, and a large group of contenders - Carlos Rosa, Esmerling Vasquez, Kam Mickolio, Mike Hampton, Rafael Rodriguez, Brian Sweeney, Jordan Norberto, and Micah Owings, plus the other pitcher from the 5th starter battle, Armando Galarraga or Aaron Heilman. From that first group, the pitcher who has been the most consistent this spring has been Carlos Rosa.  

In 6.2 IP in Spring Training, Rosa has only allowed 2 ER, while striking out 7 and walking only 2, leading to a 2.70 ERA. He is still throwing his fastball in the mid 90s, and so far has not had the control issues that have plagued him in the past.  In 2010 with the Diamondbacks, Rosa walked 12 batters in 20 IP, and threw a first-pitch strike to only 47.2% of the batters he faced, one of the lowest rates on the team. That lack of command quickly led to a trip back to the minors for Rosa. Looking at this minor league record, Rosa is one of the few Diamondbacks' relief options with good minor league strikeout rates (along with Mickolio and Vasquez). Overall, in the minor leagues, Rosa has averaged a strong 9.1K/9 with a so-so 3.3BB/9, and has been decent at preventing the home run ball at 0.6 HR/9. Rosa is out of options this year, so the team cannot send him back to AAA without sending him through waivers.  Right now, he has definitely become a contender for the 7th spot in the bullpen.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:55:11 +0000
Diamondbacks drop 8th Straight Spring Training Game - Now Is It Time to Worry? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-drop-8th-straight-spring-training-game-now-is-it-time-to-worry.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-drop-8th-straight-spring-training-game-now-is-it-time-to-worry.html The Diamondbacks dropped a 10-8 game to the Angels on Wednesday, giving them eight straight losses and bringing their overall record to 5-17. Last week, we showed that spring training records have very little correlation to regular season performance. But with the team playing so poorly, is it time for the organization to be concerned?  I still don't think so.  Even though the losses keep mounting, many of the team's key players are performing well, and surprisingly, several players that were expected to go to the minors are trying to force their way onto the team with their strong play. Let's take a closer look at what's been good and bad so far in Spring Training.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Thu, 17 Mar 2011 05:09:28 +0000
Diamondbacks' Cuts on Sunday include Mulvey, Kroenke, Gillespie, and Hester http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-cuts-on-sunday-include-mulvey-kroenke-gillespie-and-hester.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/march/diamondbacks-cuts-on-sunday-include-mulvey-kroenke-gillespie-and-hester.html The Diamondbacks announced that seven players had been optioned down to the minor leagues late Sunday night:

AAA Reno: OF Cole Gillespie, C John Hester, SP Kevin Mulvey, SP Josh Collmenter, RP Zack Kroenke
AA Mobile: Leyson Septimo
A Visalia: P Yonata Ortega

None of these seven were expected to make the major league roster, although Gillespie had an outside shot at the 5th OF position, and Kroenke was in the mix for a left-handed reliever slot.  Mulvey had a nice spring (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3BB, 6K) and should be in the starting rotation for Reno. Collmenter also had some nice results in Spring Training, (5 IP, 3H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6K) but needs to show some success at AAA before he can be considered for a Major League position. There was no room for Hester at the Major League level once Henry Blanco was signed - now Hester will probably have to battle Konrad Schmidt for the role of "Next Catcher to be Called Up."  

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Mon, 14 Mar 2011 16:32:10 +0000