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2012 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2012-articles/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:30:25 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Can Wade Miley hold off Bryce Harper for the NL Rookie of the Year Award? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/can-wade-miley-hold-off-bryce-harper-for-nl-rookie-of-the-year.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/can-wade-miley-hold-off-bryce-harper-for-nl-rookie-of-the-year.html One month ago, LHP Wade Miley looked to be the clear frontrunner for the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year Award. But a slump for Miley in September, combined with a great month for Bryce Harper, have made the race much closer. Let's start with a look at the overall stats for each player.

Wade Miley 16 11 187 3.32 3.21 1.20 6.4 1.8 0.6 3.3 4.5
Bryce Harper 578 94 21 58 17/6 .264 .334 .465 116 4.3 4.5

Harper has now caught Miley in FanGraphs's WAR calculation, and has passed him in Baseball-Reference's version. The difference in the month of September has been pretty dramatic. Miley has allowed 19 ER in 29 IP in September, for a 5.90 ERA and a 1.724 WHIP. Meanwhile, Harper has hit .305/.377/.611 with 4 SB during this month. And Harper has two more things going for him. His team has the best record in the National League, and Harper has been a big part of that, while Miley's Diamondbacks have been stuck around the .500 mark. And secondly, Harper has had a historic season for a 19 year old, posting the best-ever WAR by a teenager - http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/eh33M

Player Age Year bWAR
Bryce Harper 19 2012 4.3
Mel Ott 18 1928 3.7
Edgar Renteria 19 1996 3.1
Ken Griffey, Jr. 19 1989 2.9
Ty Cobb 19 1906 2.3

Miley has had an outstanding season, and has been the Diamondbacks' best pitcher for the year, but his late slump combined with Harper's hot streak means that Miley will probably end up second in the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year balloting.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 28 Sep 2012 17:44:12 +0000
Possible September Callups for the Diamondbacks http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/august/possible-september-callups-for-the-diamondbacks.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/august/possible-september-callups-for-the-diamondbacks.html After losing their sixth consecutive game on Wednesday afternoon, the Diamondbacks chances of making the postseason have just about disappeared - Coolstandings.com has the Diamondbacks with a 3% chance of making the playoffs, and Baseball Prospectus has the probability at just 1%. If this had been a six game winning streak instead of a six game losing streak, the Diamondbacks would have been tied with the Dodgers and right in the thick of the playoff hunt. But six straight losses means that the playoffs are almost certainly out, and maybe it's time to look ahead to the 2013 season.  On Saturday, September 1, rosters can expand, and any player on the 40-Man roster can be added to the Major League club.  Who are some potential callups for the Diamondbacks? One complication is that both the AAA Reno team and the AA Mobile team should make the playoffs in their leagues, so that will delay some callups for a week or so.

Players Who Will Be Added to the Major League Roster on September 1:
SS Willie Bloomquist, RHP Josh Collmenter, RHP Takashi Saito
All three players are on the Major League Disabled List right now, but will be activated once rosters expand, assuming they are healthy. Collmenter threw 4 IP in a Rookie League game on Tuesday, and says he will be ready to go on Saturday. Bloomquist also played in a Rookie League game on Tuesday, and will be activated if his back continues to feels OK. Saito has been on the DL since August 14 with a hamstring injury, but is expected to pitch in a minor league game this week.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) August Thu, 30 Aug 2012 00:35:37 +0000
A Closer Look at the Diamondbacks' New 3B, Chris Johnson http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/july/a-closer-look-at-the-diamondbacks-new-3b-chris-johnson.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/july/a-closer-look-at-the-diamondbacks-new-3b-chris-johnson.html On Sunday, the Diamondbacks traded a pair of players at AA Mobile, Marc Krauss and Bobby Borchering, to the Houston Astros for 3B Chris Johnson. Krauss and Borchering are two players who profile as potential power hitters, but poor fielders, so they might be better fits with the Astros, who will be shifting to the American League (with the DH) in 2013. Krauss, in particular, has had a very good season with the bat, and might compete for a Major League roster spot next year. Borchering is still struggling at the AA level, and probably needs at least two more years in the Minors. While both still have potential, the Diamondbacks were willing to risk trading them to upgrade at Third Base with Johnson.

Third Base has been a weak spot for the Diamondbacks all season, as the team's 3B have combined to hit only .227/.282/.342 (.624 OPS), which is more than 100 pts lower in OPS than every other position on the team. Johnson was batting .279/.329/.428 for the Astros, with 8 HR and 41 RBI, and is expected to be the primary 3B for the Diamondbacks over the final two months of the season, replacing the combination of recent call-up Ryan Wheeler and Willie Bloomquist. Based on his play this year, Johnson should be an offensive improvement for the team, but his defense could be a concern. The basic summary for Johnson is this - a decent batting average with a lot of line drives, low walks, high strikeouts, decent power, odd platoon splits, and he's a below-average defender despite a strong throwing arm.  Let's take a closer look at Johnson.

2009 24 HOU 11 22 1 2 0 1 1 6 .091 .130 .091 -39 -50
2010 25 HOU 94 341 40 105 11 52 15 91 .308 .337 .481 121 120
2011 26 HOU 107 378 32 95 7 42 16 97 .251 .291 .378 85 80
2012 27 HOU 92 341 36 95 8 41 23 92 .279 .329 .428 105 107
TOT 304 1082 109 297 26 136 55 286 .274 .314 .421 100 99
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) July Mon, 30 Jul 2012 18:21:40 +0000
My Picks for the 2012 All Star Game Rosters http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/june/my-picks-for-the-2012-all-star-game-rosters.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/june/my-picks-for-the-2012-all-star-game-rosters.html The rosters for the 2012 All Star Game will be announced on Sunday, July 1. As usual, the rosters will include fan voting for the starters as well as player voting and manager selections for the reserves. Here are the details for the 34 player roster composition:

Fan Voting (9 in AL, 8 in NL): Fans will vote for the starting lineup
Player Voting (16 Players): Players will vote for 1 player at each position, plus 8 pitchers (5 starters, 3 relievers)
Manager Selections: (8 in AL, 9 in NL): Each All Star Game Manager will complete the roster up to a total of 33, including at least one from each team
Last Spot (1): The fans will pick one final player from a set of five, based on choices from the Managers and the Commissioner's Office.

I think two Diamondbacks are in excellent position to make the All Star team, and a third D-Back is probably deserving. First, Aaron Hill is now batting .302/.363/.520 through Friday's games, with 11 HR and 38 RBI, and very good defense at second base. Yesterday, Hill became the first player to hit for the cycle twice in season in 80 years, and he did it twice within two weeks.  Dan Uggla was leading the latest fan voting, but Hill should also make the team, perhaps along with Brandon Phillips.

Second, Wade Miley has a 2.09 ERA, which is lower than every starter in the NL other than the injured Brandon Beachy. There are many deserving NL Starting pitchers, but I think Miley will be named to the NL All Star team on Sunday. The third Diamondback should be 1B Paul Goldschmidt, who is now batting .299/.375/.532 with 11 HR and 35 RBI. His numbers are the second best in the NL after Joey Votto, who should easily win the fan vote. But the second spot is voted on by the players, and it's not clear if Goldschmidt's hot hitting over the last month will be enough to win a spot over players like Corey Hart, Freddie Freeman, or Adam LaRoche. But on merit, he deserves to be the #2 First Baseman.

Given the constraints of the selection process, here are my picks for the National League and American League Rosters (Starters are listed first, based on expected results from fan voting).
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) June Fri, 29 Jun 2012 23:04:03 +0000
2012 Diamondbacks Draft Preview http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/may/2012-diamondbacks-draft-preview.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/may/2012-diamondbacks-draft-preview.html The 2011 draft was a very exciting one for the Diamondbacks, since the team had two picks in the Top 7, which turned into pitchers Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley. 2012 will probably not be as interesting, since the club does not pick for the first time until Pick #26, and not for the second time until Pick #90. Monday's Draft also will be the first conducted under the new collective bargaining agreement, which places an effective cap on bonuses offered to draft picks.  For their first ten picks, the Diamondbacks can spend a total of $3.818M, much less than than the $11.16M the team spent in 2011 on its Top 10. In fact, the Diamondbacks spent more each on just Bradley ($5M) and Bauer ($3.4M) than they can this year. So there will be no chance of going way over-slot to draft a "hard-to-sign" player.

So what kind of player will the Diamondbacks be looking for in the June 4 draft? The team certainly has a lot of minor league pitching depth, and an overall shortage of talent among position players, especially at catcher. But it is generally a mistake to draft for need in the MLB draft - getting the best player available is usually a better strategy, given the long development time and low success rates of drafted players. It's always tough to project a pick all the way at #26, because so many teams will have a chance to take all of the players listed below. Plus, if any of the currently projected top players slips, the Diamondbacks might end up getting a much better player than predicted. Given all of these limitations, here are a dozen players that the Diamondbacks might be looking at (with rankings from Baseball America, ESPN, and Baseball Prospectus).

Stryker Trahan, C/OF Acadiana HS, Louisiana (BA #27, ESPN #24, BP #31)
Trahan is the Diamondbacks' pick in Baseball America's latest Mock Draft. 6-1, 220 lbs, Trahan is a very good athlete who also started at QB for his high school team. He throws well, but there are questions about his receiving ability, which may move him to RF. He has good power and surprising speed, and his offensive tools are expected to be good enough for a corner outfield spot. Would be an outstanding pick if he can stick at Catcher. Committed to the University of Mississippi.

Nick Travieso, RHP, Archbishop McCarthy, Florida (BA #40, ESPN #33, BP #31-40)
Travieso is the Diamondbacks' selection in Keith Law's Mock Draft for ESPN. He's played for some of the top high schools (American Heritage and Archbishop McCarthy) in the country, and as a result, found himself needed only as a reliever until this season. He throws his fastball consistently in the 92-95 mph range, and has reached as high as 98. Travieso also has a hard slider and is working on a changeup.  He's been moving up draft boards since his stuff seems to have improved significantly during the season.

Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M (BA #25, ESPN #42)
Naquin is one of the best pure college hitters in the draft, leading the Big XII in batting average for the last two seasons. Naquin also has the best throwing arm of any college outfielder, and also has good spped, going 21 for 26 in stolen bases. But there are questions about his power, as he has only 3 HR and 24 extra base hits in 229 ABs this season. Some scouts are afraid he is a tweener - not good enough speed for CF, but not enough power for a corner OF.

Addison Russell, SS, Pace HS, Florida (BA #28, ESPN #19, BP #16)
Russell has excellent bat speed, good range at SS, and an above-average arm. Scouts initially were projecting him as a 3B, but he lost 20 lbs in his senior year and now looks like he could stick at SS. He should have plenty of power for a SS, although the strikeouts may always be high. Russell has some serious star potential, and has signed with Scott Boras. Committed to Auburn.

Victor Roache, OF Georgia Southern (BA #22, ESPN #89)
Roache had a tremendous power season for Georgia Southern as a sophomore in 2011, blasting 30 HR in 62 Games while batting .326. Unfortunately in 2012, Roache broke his wrist in February, and only played in 6 Games this year, hitting two home runs. Scouts were hoping he could come back for the NCAA postseason, but that didn't happen, so there is a lot of uncertainty about whether Roache is completely healthy. Before the injury, he was considered a possible Top 10 pick.

Hunter Virant, LHP, Camarillo HS, California (BA #53, ESPN #26)
Virant is a projectable left hander who already throws in the low 90s with good location. He has a good downward angle on his pitches, and throws a solid changeup and a decent slider. Some see him as similar to fellow Californian high schooler Tyler Skaggs. Committed to UCLA.

Pierce Johnson, RHP, Missouri State (BA #32, ESPN #59)
Johnson's fastball sits in the 92-93 mph range and can reach 96. He throws a power curveball in the low 80s, along with a changeup and a slider. Johnson struck out 112 batters in 91.2 IP in 2012, for a rate of 12.2K/9, while walking only 26 (2.55 BB/9). There are injury concerns with Johnson - he missed some starts with a forearm strain this spring, and many scouts are not crazy about his delivery.

Ty Buttrey, RHP, Providence HS, North Carolina (BA #38, ESPN #34)
Buttrey is a tall, projectable right-hander at 6-5, 205. He was throwing as high as 96 mph in the early spring, but settled into the 90-93 range for most of the season. His curve/knuckle-curve and change-up give him the potential for three plus pitches. Buttrey turned 19 at the end of March, so he is one of the older prep prospects. Committed to Arkanasas.

Clint Coulter, C Union HS, Washington (BA #48, ESPN #35, BP #29)
Coulter is a strong 6-3, 200 lbs and was a state champion wrestler. His bat looks solid, with both contact and power, but there are questions about his defensive ability and agility behind the plate. If he can't stay at catcher, his bat may be good enough to move to 1B. If he can stay at Catcher, he has a very high ceiling. He's often compared to Mike Napoli, and is committed to Arizona State. 

Tanner Rahier, SS Palm Desert HS California (BA #34, ESPN #31, BP #24)
Rahier has been moving up draft boards after some impressive private workouts. He didn't play high school baseball for the last two seasons, playing instead for a club team in a wood bat league. He's one of the more polished prep hitters in the draft, with a good approach and bat speed, but he may need to develop more power. Defensively, he has a strong arm, but may not have the range to stick at SS. But he could be a plus defender at 3B or 2B if he needs to switch positions. He's often compared to the Rays' Evan Longoria. Committed to the University of San Diego.

Joey Gallo, 3B/RHP, Bishop Gorman HS, Nevada (BA #33, ESPN #23, BP #27)
At 6-5, 205, Gallo has tremendous power, hitting over 60 home runs in his high school career, and he had the 10th longest home run in Petco Park history while playing in an All-Star game there. But he also swings and misses a lot, and he doesn't have much range at 3B. He throws in the mid-90s as a pitcher, but has said that he prefers to be a position player.

Stephen Piscotty, OF/3B, Stanford (BA #26, ESPN #15, BP #22) 
Piscotty won the batting title in the Cape Cod league last summer, and hit .312/.405/.460 for Stanford this season.  He needs to show more power, but many feel that he will once he leaves the Stanford program. He's a good athlete with a strong arm, but he did make 11 errors this year, so he may be moved from 3B to a corner OF position.

Others who the Diamondbacks could take, but who probably won't last until Pick #26:
OF Byron Buxton (Appling County HS, Ga.), RHP Mark Appel (Stanford), RHP Kyle Zimmer (San Francisco), C Michael Zunino (Florida), SS Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico), RHP Kevin Gaussman (LSU), OF Albert Almora (Mater Academy, Fla), RHP Lucas Giolito (Harvard Westlake HS, Cal.), LHP Max Fried (Harvard Westlake HS, Cal.), SS Deven Marrero (Arizona State), RHP Marcus Stroman (Duke), RHP Michael Wacha (Texas A&M), OF David Dahl (Oak Mountain HS, Ala.), RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (Jesuit HS, Fla), SS Gavin Cecchini (Barbe HS, La.), OF Courtney Hawkins (Carroll HS, Tex.), 3B Corey Seager (NW Cabarrus HS, NC), LHP Andrew Heaney (Okla St.), RHP Chris Stratton (Miss. St.), OF D.J. Davis (Stone HS, Miss.), 3B Richie Schafer (Clemson), RHP Ty Hensley (Santa Fe HS, Okla.), LHP Matt Smoral (Solon HS, Ohio), RHP Zach Eflin (Hagerty HS, Fla.)

Here is a summary of the Diamondbacks' first ten picks in Monday's draft. The team's pick value is ranked 28th out of 30 teams.

Pick Number Pick Value
1 26 $1.7M
2 90 $540K
3 120 $393K
4 153 $286K
5 183 $214K
6 213 $160K
7 243 $142K
8 273 $133K
9 303 $125K
10 333 $125K
Total $3.818M
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) May Fri, 01 Jun 2012 02:06:41 +0000
Minor League Strikeout Leaders Through April 26 http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/april/minor-league-strikeout-leaders-through-april-26.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/april/minor-league-strikeout-leaders-through-april-26.html With 9 strikeouts in 6 innings on Thursday night, Trevor Bauer now leads all Minor League pitchers in strikeouts with 37, passing AA Mobile teammate Tyler Skaggs. Close behind in the strikeout race is Visalia (High Class A) pitcher Andrew Chafin, who has 33 strikeouts in just 20.2 IP. 

(Through games of Thursday, April 26)

Rk Pitcher Age Tm Lev Aff SO BB IP W L ERA SO/9 BB/9
1 Trevor Bauer 21 MOB AA ARI 37 17 28.2 5 0 1.26 11.6 5.3
2 Tyler Skaggs* 20 MOB AA ARI 34 5 23.1 0 2 4.24 13.1 1.9
2 Matt Barnes 22 GRV A BOS 34 4 21.0 2 0 0.00 14.6 1.7
4 Tyler Thornburg 23 HVL AA MIL 33 7 28.0 2 0 1.93 10.6 2.2
4 Andrew Chafin* 22 VIS A+ ARI 33 5 20.2 2 0 2.61 14.4 2.2
4 Jose Fernandez 19 GBO A MIA 33 8 23.0 2 0 1.57 12.9 3.1
7 Tyler Matzek* 21 MOD A+ COL 32 16 24.2 1 3 3.28 11.7 5.8
7 Jarret Martin* 22 GRL A LAD 32 9 27.0 1 1 3.67 10.7 3.0
7 Nicholas Tropeano 21 LEX A HOU 32 6 21.0 1 1 1.29 13.7 2.6
10 James Paxton* 23 WTN AA SEA 31 16 23.1 2 0 3.09 12.0 6.2
10 Daniel Straily 23 MDL AA OAK 31 6 22.2 0 2 1.99 12.3 2.4
10 Andre Rienzo 23 WSM A+ CHW 31 7 25.0 3 0 1.08 11.2 2.5
10 Sean Murphy 23 BUR A OAK 31 10 23.0 2 1 1.17 12.1 3.9

Just missing the Top 10 are several more Diamondback pitchers - David Holmberg and Michael Bolsinger of Visalia have 27 strikeouts each, Archie Bradley has 26 for South Bend, Patrick Corbin of Mobile has 25, and Anthony Meo of Visalia has 24.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) April Fri, 27 Apr 2012 15:53:24 +0000
Is There Room for Brett Lorin on the Diamondbacks Roster? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/march/is-there-room-for-brett-lorin-on-the-diamondbacks-roster.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/march/is-there-room-for-brett-lorin-on-the-diamondbacks-roster.html The Diamondbacks selected RHP Brett Lorin in last December's Rule 5 draft, and need to make a decision on his future with the organization within the next week or so. If Lorin is not on the Opening Day roster, he must be offered back to the Pirates for $25,000, or the two teams can try to work out a trade so that Lorin can stay in the Diamondbacks' organization. The team has been impressed with Lorin, but right now, there just doesn't seem to be any space for him.

Lorin, 24, is a tall (6-7) righthander who throws in the low 90s, with excellent command of a sinker and slider. His tall frame gives him a good downward plane on his pitches, and his pitching repertoire keeps the ball on the ground.  Lorin has made six appearances during Spring Training in 2012, and has solid overall numbers - 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. The only runs he has allowed were last Friday on a two-run inside-the-park homer off the centerfield wall by A.J. Pierzynski. Manager Kirk Gibson praised Lorin last week, saying "He's sneaky. He's 6-7 and he got up to 90-92 (mph) today. That's getting on you quick. That's the thing about radar readings, you see guys who throw really hard and guys are all over it, you see guys who are 88-90 and they take bad swings at it. There's something about it." 

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) March Tue, 27 Mar 2012 04:06:50 +0000
2012 Diamondbacks Spring Training Preview - Middle Infield http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/february/2012-diamondbacks-spring-training-preview-middle-infield.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/february/2012-diamondbacks-spring-training-preview-middle-infield.html Continuing our preview of Spring Training 2012 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, here is a look at the team's middle infield situation (Here are links to previous articles on the Starting Pitching, Bullpen, and Catchers). If all goes well, the team's middle infield will have a healthy Stephen Drew at SS, and a hot hitting Aaron Hill at 2B. But Drew missed the second half of 2011 with a serious ankle injury, and Hill went through a huge offensive slump for almost two full seasons before joining the Diamondbacks. If Drew isn't ready to go on Opening Day, or if Hill goes back to his 2010-11 Blue Jays batting ways, the Diamondbacks have several middle infield options in Spring Training -  Geoff Blum, Willie Bloomquist, and John McDonald, plus non-roster invitees Cody Ransom and Chris Owings. The problem is, none of these other five can supply the offense/defense combo that the team needs, so the team really needs Drew and Hill to come through.  Here is a closer look at the middle infield candidates.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Tue, 28 Feb 2012 04:47:54 +0000
Thursday's 6-5 Loss to the Padres Probably Ends the Diamondbacks' 2012 Playoff Hopes http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/thursdays-6-5-loss-to-the-padres-probably-ends-the-diamondbacks-2012-playoff-hopes.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/thursdays-6-5-loss-to-the-padres-probably-ends-the-diamondbacks-2012-playoff-hopes.html Thursday afternoon's 6-5 loss to the Padres leaves the Diamondbacks 5.5 Games behind the Cardinals for the 2nd Wild Card slot, with just 13 games left to play. That means that making the playoffs in 2012 is just about an impossibility - if the Cardinals go 6-6 the rest of the way, the Diamondbacks will need to go 12-1 just to tie them. While there is always the hope that the Cards could collapse over the final two weeks, Arizona's situation is worsened because there are still three teams between the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals in the standings - the Brewers, Dodgers, and the Phillies. One week ago there was still hope, but seven more games have gone by and the D-Backs actually dropped one game further behind.

In many ways, Thursday's loss exemplified the problems the team has had throughout the season. Arizona had pulled to within one run heading into the 9th inning, and then loaded the bases with no outs. But Mike Jacobs, Adam Eaton, and Aaron Hill were all unable to bring in the tying run, and the season was probably lost. This highlights the biggest problem with the Diamondbacks this year - their clutch hitting was unusually bad. The team is now batting just .190/.259/.315 (.573 OPS) in "Late and Close" situations, compared to .257/.325/.417 (.742 OPS) overall. This .169 drop in OPS in L&C situations is the worst in the National League, and is probably the biggest factor in the team's 14-26 record in One-Run games.  

The game also highlighted a second problem for the team all season - poor performance by the team's pinch hitters. Arizona pinch hitters are now batting .235/.277/.330 (.607 OPS) for the year, again much worse than the team's overall batting line. Unfortunately, that was to probably be expected, since the team never really planned to have any good hitters on the bench. The planned Opening Day bench was Willie Bloomquist (career .662 OPS), John McDonald (.606), Gerardo Parra (.729), Henry Blanco (.658), and Lyle Overbay (.792), with only the 35-year-old Overbay an above-average hitter for his career. Although the bench personnel changed frequently throughout the year, the team never really put together a good hitting group. 

Thursday's game also continued what has been a disappointing performance by the team's young players.  Many observers felt that young pitchers like Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs would be ready to make significant contributions this year, but it didn't happen. Bauer made 4 starts in the Majors with a 6.06 ERA, and Skaggs made 6 starts with a 5.83 ERA. Both are still just 21 years old, so it's not really any cause for concern about their futures, but neither performed as well in the Majors as the team had hoped, especially when the Diamondbacks had traded away Joe Saunders

The good news for the Diamondbacks is that they should enter the 2013 season with a solid starting rotation from the group of Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin, Trevor Bauer, and Tyler Skaggs, with others like Daniel Hudson and Chase Anderson possibly able to help out later in the year. The bullpen should also be good, especially if J.J. Putz is brought back with David Hernandez, Brad Ziegler, Matt Albers, and Matt Lindstrom. The area that needs help is probably the offense, and the continued rumors about a Justin Upton trade certainly don't help in that regard. But the poor clutch hitting in 2012 was probably just bad luck, and if that returns to normal levels, the Diamondbacks' main focus in the offseason should be finding an everyday shortstop and strengthing the bench. The Diamondbacks should definitely be back in the playoff hunt again in 2013.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:03:59 +0000
DIamondbacks Acquire RHP Matt Lindstrom for Joe Saunders http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/august/diamondbacks-acquire-rhp-matt-lindstrom-for-joe-saunders.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/august/diamondbacks-acquire-rhp-matt-lindstrom-for-joe-saunders.html On Sunday, the Diamondbacks traded 31-year-old LHP Joe Saunders for hard-throwing right hander Matt Lindstrom. Saunders had pitched 3 years for the Diamondbacks since being acquired in the Dan Haren trade, and had basically done his job - throwing a lot of innings with an ERA slightly better than league average. More importantly, his presence in the rotation allowed the team to give prospects Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs a much-needed season in AAA instead of rushing them to the Majors. The Diamondbacks will go with a rotation of Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, Patrick Corbin, and Tyler Skaggs to finish the 2012 season.

The 32 year-old Lindstrom becomes another hard-thrower in the Diamondbacks' bullpen. He has experience as a closer, with 45 career saves, but has actually pitched better as a set-up man over the last two seasons.

Year Age Tm W L SV IP ERA WHIP HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2007 27 FLA 3 4 0 67.0 3.09 1.30 0.3 2.8 8.3
2008 28 FLA 3 3 5 57.1 3.14 1.45 0.2 4.1 6.8
2009 29 FLA 2 1 15 47.1 5.89 1.65 1.0 4.6 7.4
2010 30 HOU 2 5 23 53.1 4.39 1.65 0.8 3.4 7.3
2011 31 COL 2 2 2 54.0 3.00 1.22 0.5 2.3 6.0
2012 32 BAL 1 0 0 36.1 2.72 1.29 0.5 3.0 7.4
6 Yrs TOT 13 15 45 315.1 3.68 1.42 0.5 3.3 7.2

Over the last two years, Lindstrom has significantly lowered his ERA and WHIP, due primarily to better control. His fastball velocity has dropped a little, from an average of 97.6 mph in his rookie year of 2007 to around 95.0 this year, but that would still make his fastball the fastest on the team, just ahead of David Hernandez (94.7) and newcomer Matt Albers (93.4).  Lindstrom gets a good percentage of ground balls (career 47.4 GB%), and does not allow many home runs (career 0.51 HR/9). His career Swinging Strike percentage is a solid 10.3%, which is similar to that of J.J. Putz (11.8%) and David Hernandez (10.0%).

Although Lindstrom is 32 years old, his arm has fewer pitches on it than most pitchers his age, because he took a two-year sabbatical from 1999-2001 as a missionary in Sweden. He started his minor league career at the age of 22, but had hardly touched a baseball in the preceding two years.

Lindstrom makes $3.6M this year, and has a $4M club option for 2013, which is a lot to pay for a set-up man, (with a $0.2M buyout). The Diamondbacks will probably decline the option, but may try to negotiate a new deal for the next year or two.

amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) August Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:19:32 +0000