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2012 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2012-articles/september/ Sat, 29 Nov 2014 02:14:42 +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.

W L IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 bWAR fWAR
Wade Miley 16 11 187 3.32 3.21 1.20 6.4 1.8 0.6 3.3 4.5
PA R HR RBI SB/CS AVG OBP SLG wRC+ bWAR fWAR
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.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 28 Sep 2012 17:44:12 +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.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:03:59 +0000
Can the Diamondbacks Still Win the 2nd Wild Card Slot? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/can-the-diamondbacks-still-win-the-2nd-wild-card-slot.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/can-the-diamondbacks-still-win-the-2nd-wild-card-slot.html The first four playoff spots in the National League appear to be settled, with the Nationals (89-54), Reds (87-57), Giants (81-62), and Braves (81-63) all in great shape. The Diamondbacks are 4.5 Games Behind the Cardinals for the second NL wild card slot, with 19 games left to play. Adding to that challenge are that there are four other teams between the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals.  So do the D-Backs still have a chance? Surprisingly, yes, although the Diamondbacks need to play very well down the stretch and they will need some help from teams like the Cubs, Astros, and Rockies.  

Looking at the remaining schedule, the wild card contenders have very few games against each other. In fact, with six teams battling for one spot, there are only two series remaining in which two Wild Card contenders will go head-to-head: the Cardinals-Dodgers series this weekend, and the Pirates-Brewers series next week. The rest of the time, these teams will either be facing one of the four locked-in playoff teams, or one of the 6 teams that are essentially eliminated. So there will be a lot of scoreboard watching over the final three weeks.  Let's take a look at the remaining schedules for the contenders for the second Wild Card spot.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 14 Sep 2012 15:21:37 +0000
Looking Back at the Diamondbacks' Summer Trades http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/looking-back-at-the-diamondbacks-summer-trades.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/looking-back-at-the-diamondbacks-summer-trades.html On July 25, the Diamondbacks had a record of 49-49, and were six games behind the Giants in the NL West and five games behind the Braves for the second wild card spot. Over the next few weeks, the Diamondbacks made five trades. While the organization insisted that the trades did not signify that the team had given up on the season, the trades definitely saved the team some money, and also opened up some roster spots for younger players. Since then, the Diamondbacks have gone 20-23, and slipped to ten games behind the Giants and six out of the wild card. Let's take a look back at the five trades made by the Diamondbacks this summer.

1) Traded 3B Ryan Roberts to the Rays for 2B Tyler Bortnick (July 25, 2012)
Roberts had been the team's Opening Day starter at 3B, but had hit just .250/.306/.357 (.663 OPS) over 280 Plate Appearances. Since the trade, Roberts has hit about the same with the Rays, going .215/.294/.333 (.627 OPS), so the Diamondbacks probably didn't lose much here, and they avoided paying half of Roberts' $2M salary.

Unfortunately, the player acquired for Roberts, 24 year-old Tyler Bortnick, has not hit well for AAA Reno - .212/.293/.311 (.603 OPS). Bortnick is still displaying decent speed and plate discipline, but he needs to hit for much higher average if he wants to become a utility player at the Major League level.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Tue, 11 Sep 2012 15:16:05 +0000
The Diamondbacks' Record in One-Run Games Ranks Last in the NL http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/the-diamondbacks-record-in-one-run-games-ranks-last-in-the-nl.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2012-articles/september/the-diamondbacks-record-in-one-run-games-ranks-last-in-the-nl.html With just 24 games left in the Regular Season, the Diamondbacks sit 6.5 Games Behind in the Wild Card race and 9.5 Games Back in the NL West. One of the biggest factors in the disappointing season has been the team's performance in One Run games. Amazingly, the Diamondbacks are only 11-23 in One Run games, which is the worst record in the NL, even worse than the hapless Cubs and Astros.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Thu, 06 Sep 2012 18:10:25 +0000