Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I will be updating soon

Got some idea for some content that's not snakepitworthy.

Check back for more detail.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Minor Tidbits

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've just been busy with some personal stuff. Today I'm just going to go over some random news.

Chad Tracy was placed on the DL, and it's all but likely 3b/IF Mark Reynolds willl get the call up from AA. Mark Reynolds burst on to the scene last year, by hitting Reynolds has a lot of flexibility defensively, seeing time at third, second, short stop, first, and left field. In AA this year he hit 306/394/537 with 6 homers, 2 triples, and 9 doubles.

19 year old center fielder and top prospect Justin Upton has been on a tear the last month, and has earned a promotion from High-A Visalia to AA Mobile. He hit .341/.433/540 with 5 home runs, two triples, and six doubles in his time in High A. Despite the promotion to AA, he's got 4 home runs in 10 at bats for the Mobile BayBears.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dbacks's offense picks up, take series against pads 2-1

Over the last week, the dbacks offense has been dead cold, leading to them dropping from first all the way to fourth place. But all is not bad in Arizona, as the team is showing signs of life. Randy Johnson made his first start, facing another dinosauric lefty, the diabetic David Wells. Together, they're the oldest matchup of left handed pitchers in history, at the age of 86 combined. All though we lost that game 5-10, there were some bright spots. Chad Tracy actually got a couple of XBH off the lefty Wells, and the younger players showed signs of getting more comfortable in the batter's box. Unfortunately, the pitching just didn't hold up.

There were a few keys to the last two wins. First, the pitching. While Jake Peavy was out there K'ing 16 of our hitters, Brandon Webb kept us close, holding the Padres to two runs. That game was won in grand fashion, as Stephen Drew hit his first home run of the year, a walk off two run bomb. All though I should mention, with out Miguel Montero's home run, the win wouldn't have been there.

Yesterday, Livan Hernandez put up a three spot in the first, but didn't allow much after that, except for a paltry two hits, and a few ealks. Tony Clark, starting at first for the injured Conor Jackson, was the hero of the game, hitting two home runs once again. Has Tony reverted to his awesome 2005 form? God willing he has.

Up next, we face the San Francisco Giants for a three game set over the weekend. Today's match up is Doug Davis(1-2, 3.27 ERA) vs Barry Zito(2-2, 3.70 ERA). It's worth noting that Zito has not given up a run in his last two starts.

Saturday will see two young pitchers take the mound, Edgar Gonzalez, (1-2, 4.26) vs the up and coming Matt Cain(1-1, 1.55),

And Sunday, we'll see the big bird killing tall man, Randy Johnson, vs Matt Morris( 3-0, 2.49)

I'll be doing a look at some of the farm hands in the dbacks system, and see how they are doing over the course of the weekend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Return of RJ+Chad Tracy

A lot of things I'd like to cover today, so let's get this underway.

Randy Johnson will make his first start this season, after starting the year on the Disabled List, and making several rehab starts in spring training and in the minor leagues. He'll be facing another old lefty, David Wells. There are a few nagging things about this though. Brandon Webb was scheduled to start today, after the day off yesterday, but was pushed back another day for RJ. It seems like the most logical choice would be to start Webb today, and RJ tommorow. The questionable aspect of this move is that Webb tends to show poor control after long periods of rest.

Another questionable move that goes along with the return of RJ is that Robby Hammock will get the start at catcher. At first glance, the move makes sense, as Hammock has a history of catching Johnson, and in fact, caught Johnson's perfect game in 2004(argueable the highlight of the 2004 season). This shouldn't be that big of a deal, unless Hammock becomes Johnson's regular catcher. In that case, he'd be taking valuable playing time from Chris Snyder and Miguel Montero. Overall, it's not that big of a deal.

Ok, so the next thing i'd like to discuss is a topic that has been brought up by some of the regulars at the DiamondbacksBullpen message board. Chad Tracy can't hit lefties.

OPS vs. lefties
2004: .560
2005: .723
2006: .627
2007: .134 (15 PA)
Career .612 (428 PA)"

Tracy hits righties just fine, but he's definately a liability offensively against left handers. after 4 years in the big leagues, I think it's safe to say that Tracy's big 2005 year(.308/359/.553 with 34 doubles, 4 triples, and 27 hrs) was a fluke.

So, I think at this point, it's apparent that Chad Tracy can't hit lefties. we have essentially five guys who can play third base, and are (relatively) close to major league ready. Callaspo, Barden, Mark Reynolds, and Jamie D'antona.

Out of all these guys, the only one who has a long track record of hitting LHP better than RHP is D'antona. 643/.667/.857 this year against LHP(.419/536/.721 vs RHP), and .356/.432/.595 prior to this year against LHP(.257/.317/.381 vs RHP). He's in Triple A this year, and is working on playing as catcher. I assume, in a pinch, he could play first base without too much trouble. Overall he's hitting .474/563/754

Mark Reynolds, before this year hit .275/.356/.538 against lefties, but this year(small sample size beware) is hitting 333/.391/524 against lefties, better than the .267/.298/533 line he's putting up against RHP. Reynolds has some serious power, and he's pretty damned versatile defensively, having played 3b, SS, 2b and left field. He's playing AA right now, but I think that's mostly so he'll have a chance to play every day at 3b.
overall he's hitting .288/.329/530 this year.

Last year, Callaspo hit .292/.357/.358. Not the best, but still better than Tracy. The real advantage with Callaspo over the other guys at this point is of course, he's already on the roster, and second, I'd imagine he's better defensively, and doesn't strike out nearly as much.

Barden can barely hit lefties. The sample size is too small for me to list his stats against lefties this year(1 hit in 6 Abs with a run scored), but prior to this year, he hit .220/.286/.312 against lefties. Definately not the answer there.

And just for arguments sake, Robby Hammock: 0.280/.331/.551 vs lefties last year. A decent platoon parner at the moment, since he's already on the roster.

So, in summary, in the short term, Callaspo and/or Hammock should be platooning with Tracy against left handers. In the long term, Jamie D'antona seems to be the best bet if Tracy doesn't improve at all against left handers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Notes -4/17

Let's of random things to talk about. Carlos Quentin came off the DL, and Brian Barden was sent back down to AAA Tucson. Quentin had two doubles off Bard Penny in his first appearence of the season, going 2-4 on the day. Unfortunately, due to computer troubles yesterday, Quentin was left on the bench in my fantasy team. Oh well.


Luis Gonzalez's was largely uneventful. He had a standing ovation in his first at bat - which i might add was rightfully deserved - but went 0 for 4, with two strike outs. He did have a rare outfield assist, helping Rafael Furcal throw Chad Tracy out at home. All though I have to say, that was definately a blunder on the part the part of third base coach Chip Hale. We were all ready down 3-0 with 2 outs. If Tracy hadn't been sent around, we'd have had two runners in scoring positon for Connor Jackson, who was due up next. Being overly aggressive on the base past ended the rally, and potentially cost us the game. I like aggresive base running, but I think this team needs to be a little more intelligent on the base paths.


Randy Johnson will make one more start in AAA Tucson on Thursday, and is slated to start on the 24th against the Padres. Someone will have to be sent down to make room, and it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Micah Owings and Dustin Nippert are the likely candidates, but both have pitched extremely well. Nippert has been untouchable in his three outings, striking out two, and giving up only one hit and no walks. Micah Owings has been extremely effective, with a 1.59 era in 11 innings, with a k/bb of 11/4. There aren't any guys that are struggling enough to warrant being sent down, and those who are, can't. The only guy besides Nippert and Owings that could be sent down is Brandon Medders, who's been by far the most hittable guy in the bullpen, with a 5.40 ERA. I'd like to see Nippert used more by Bob Melvin in the coming week, just to see if he deserves to stay up with the big club. This should be something to watch in the coming week. Owings gets the start today against Brett Tomko.


The Diamondbacks held first place over the weekend, but not only did they lose the game 5-1 to the Dodgers last night, they also lost first place in the NL West. TheDbacks are now 9-5, and a half game out of first place. Hopefully they split series against the Dodgers by getting a win tonight.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dbacks win home opener 3-2

So I've got a couple things I feel like I need to ramble about today.

First, the CW sucks balls, They don't carry enough games down here in Tucson, and they often don't have some marquee games scheduled. And of course, it's hard to find a list of all the games carried down here.

If you live in Phoenix(and as being a life long Tucsonan, I collectively refer to all the surrounding cities as Phoenix, because honestly, it's easier than remembering Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Gilbert, Guadalupe, Peoria, Chandler, et cetera). you should be good with basic cable, as most of the games should be on 3tv, or FSN. And the 11 games that aren't on TV, I can handle going to the ball park or watching them online. This is one of the reasons why the Diamondbacks don't have a good of fanbase in Tucson. It's a pain in the ass figuring out if the games are carried on the CW. In the long run, I guess I'm going to have to buy extra innings or MLB.tv subscription as long as I live in Tucson. Or I'm just going to have install a really really big antenna.

So Dayn Perry over at Foxsportsnet.com's weekly MLB Power rankings had Arizona at number four, Best in the NL, behind only the Indians, the damned Yankees(*shakes fist angrily*), and the Twins. Dayn used to really hate the Dbacks a few years ago, but these days, he seems to be in love with the Dbacks, and seems to have an honest man cruah on GM Josh Byrnes. Here's what Dayn had to say:

Orlando Hudson is thriving in the three hole, but it’s doubtful he has the bat to remain there long term. Carlos Quentin is swinging a bat again and could be within 10 days of returning to the lineup. Right now, Hudson and Eric Byrnes are doing the heavy lifting on offense, but the young bats will wake up soon enough.

Nice to hear some positives about the team. It'll be interesting to see how the roster shakes out after the return Quentin, RJ, and eventually Davanon. I'd hope Josh Byrnes makes a trade to give Hairston left field for the rest of the summer. If Byrnes plays well, I'd hope JB cashes in and trades him at the deadline. Micah Owings will probably be moved to relief, but a pitcher(probably Nippert in this case) would be sent down to Tucson. Micah could also be a valuable bat off the bench, and could pinch hit and then stay in the game to pitch in relief.

Anyway, Today's game is on the Cw today, so I'll be watching. I've had writers block, so i haven't thought of anything too specific to write on. When I think of something, i'll post it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dbacks 8-6

The dbacks offense was as good as I've expected yesterday. with 12 hits and 5 walks. Webb wasn't as great as you'd expect, considering he's the reigning cy young champ, all though aaroon cook was just as bad. Today we see livan vs francis. I'll have to miss the first 30 minutes of the game, as i 've got a job interview at 5. My posts will be a lot more sparse this week, as i'm job hunting. I'll try to get some good pieces up for your reading pleasure.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Micah Owings named 5th starter _ CONFIRMED

Nothing official - yet. But a posted on the DBBP said that this was announced on the radio just now. There will have to be some one removed from the 40 man roster to make this move. i think most agree it should be Casey Daigle.

MORE This announcement was made by Gambo and Ash. They've got a solid track record when making announcements like this... More to come later.

2 seconds later we have this, from Azcentral.com

Owings is fifth starter

Quentin headed for DL; Hammock likely to be cut

Joseph A. Reaves
The Arizona Republic
Mar 30, 2007 5:00 PM

Three pieces of news came from the Diamondbacks' postgame clubhouse today: Micah Owings is the Diamondbacks fifth starter, right fielder Carlos Quentin will start the season on the disabled list, and indications were that Robby Hammock would be among the last players cut.
Manager Bob Melvin said today he was going with Owings and that he would start next Friday at Washington.

"His last outing wasn’t his best," said Melvin, who, when asked why he settled on Owings replied, "Because he’s good. We saw some things for a young guy that you don’t see. Not only his pitching but it’s the liitle things like holding runners on base."

Owings was told yesterday that he’d won the fifth starter’s spot.

"Like I said before the season, I’m glad I didn’t have to make the decision," he said. "There’s a lot of good guys out there. I’m just excited."

Owings likely will open the season on the minor league roster before being activated for next Friday’s start.

Random articles to tide you over

Two articles fro MLb.com The first talk about Johnson's outing las night, looking strong the second, Quentin possibly starting on the dl, the final rotation spot, The final bullpen spot, and the final two spots on the bench.

It looks like Quentin will start on the dl, with Hairston in left, Chis young in Center, and Eric Byrnes sliding over to right. This begs the question of who'll be the fourth outfielder, with Davanon and Quentin on the DL. Once Quentin comes back, if Hairston is tearing off the cover of the ball, I'd expect Byrnes to be the fourth outfielder until Davanon comes back, and Salazar would be optioned back to AAA. With acquisitions of Romero and Salazar, I wouldn't be surprised if Byrnes/Davanon is traded. Byrnes could be a popular trade canidate for teams looking for a pickup at the trade deadline. According to the article, Salazar, Hammock, and Barden are the final candidates for the last two roster spots. I'd guess Salazar and Hammock. Who gets the fifth spot is still in question, but I'm betting on Dustin Nippert. JD Durbin will probably claim a spot in the bullpen. Also worth noting is this Si/baseball prospectus article, which has First Basemen Conor Jackson, and Shortstop Stephen Drew tabbed as two of the most likely break out candidates for 2007.
Big Unit continues to make strides
03/30/2007 2:05 AM ET
PHOENIX -- Randy Johnson once again looked sharp on Thursday, as he tossed three scoreless innings and struck out five while allowing two hits in the D-backs' 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. Johnson is recovering from back surgery.

"Great slider tonight, hit 93 [mph] again," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "The command for me right now is unbelievable for a guy that's coming off back surgery and has limited innings."

Johnson is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League camp game on April 3 and for Class A Visalia on April 8. After that, Johnson felt he would need just one more start before being activated.

"There's a world of difference between how I'm pitching in spring training than the way I was pitching the last two or three months of last year," said Johnson, who won 17 games with the Yankees last season despite back problems.

Assuming he stays on that schedule, he would be on track to pitch April 18 or 19, which would be against the Padres in San Diego.

On Thursday night, Johnson breezed through a lineup that had three regulars. In the first inning, he retired Jose Cruz Jr. on a fly ball and struck out Geoff Blum and Adrian Gonzalez.

In the second, Johnson gave up a single to Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was caught stealing as Johnson struck out Russell Branyan. Johnson also struck out Terrmel Sledge.

In the third, Pete Laforest led off with an infield single and was erased on Sean Kazmar's double-play grounder. Johnson ended his stint by striking out starting pitcher Mike Thompson.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Notes: Quentin suffers a setback
03/30/2007 2:30 AM ET
PHOENIX -- After suffering a slight setback in a Minor League game Thursday, it seems all but certain that outfielder Carlos Quentin will start the season on the disabled list.

"It's going to be difficult to start with him," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "Probably 10 percent chance."

Quentin, who was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with a slight tear in the labrum in his left shoulder, felt a little discomfort during his third trip to the plate in a Minor League game. He was removed from the game after the at-bat and was examined by team physician Michael Lee.

According to Melvin, Quentin's strength tested out well in the shoulder, but the club will err on the side of caution and have him focus on strengthening the muscles around the labrum rather than having him take lots of swings to be ready for Opening Day.

"Obviously, it's a little setback that will push me back a little bit, but we're all confident that I will come back strong," said Quentin, who was set to be the club's Opening Day starter in right field. "I talked to the doctor and he said it might have something to do with fatigue."

If Quentin starts the year on the DL, Eric Byrnes will likely shift from left field to right with Scott Hairston starting in left.

Claimed: The D-backs claimed the second player in as many days off waivers Thursday as they nabbed pitcher J.D. Durbin from the Twins.

Outfielder Jeff Salazar was claimed on waivers from the Rockies on Wednesday.

Durbin, who has posted good Minor League numbers in the Twins organization, is out of options and therefore will make the club as the sixth right-hander. With Doug Slaten looking to be set as the team's left-handed specialist, the pickup of Durbin seems to set the pen heading into the season.

"We feel like he has a chance to fit for us so we went ahead and claimed him, and now we need to sort through our numbers and set our Opening Day roster," GM Josh Byrnes said.

To make room on their 40-man roster for Durbin, the D-backs designated outfielder Dave Krynzel for assignment. The team has 10 days to trade him, release him or place him on waivers.

Anybody's guess: The Opening Day roster, which just a couple of weeks ago looked pretty set, has become very uncertain two days before rosters must be submitted to the Commissioner's office.

he No. 5 spot in the rotation is still up for grabs. Enrique Gonzalez and Dana Eveland, two candidates, were optioned to Triple-A prior to Thursday's game. That leaves Dustin Nippert and Micah Owings as the remaining contenders.

Owings followed Randy Johnson to the mound Thursday, and allowed four runs on eight hits over four innings.

"Right now, it's still Nippert and Owings," Melvin said. "This wasn't Owings' best outing, but it's really the first time he's been nicked up at all so you've got to give him a little bit of a break. Whether one of them is starting, one of them is in relief ... we have options with both of them that we're both looking at."

The final two position player spots -- assuming Quentin starts the year on the DL -- will come from among Salazar, Robby Hammock and Brian Barden. Salazar is in the running in large part because he is a natural outfielder, which is important because the other two are not, and carrying both of them would leave the team with no true outfield backup.

Scratch: Shortstop Stephen Drew was scratched from the lineup after tweaking his right quad muscle earlier in the week.

"He did it rounding second the other day, hit second on his way to third, just felt it a little bit," Melvin said. "He's played since; he felt it just a tiny bit today. He's doing all the work just fine. I'm just overly cautious today."

Closer Jose Valverde slammed a finger on his right hand in a car door, and though the injury doesn't appear to be serious, he did not pitch as scheduled in the D-backs' afternoon game against the Cubs.

Up next: The D-backs take on the Padres again Friday afternoon at the Peoria Sports Complex at 1:05 p.m. MST. Edgar Gonzalez, who was named the No. 4 starter a couple of days ago, will make his final spring start. Brandon Lyon, Juan Cruz and Brandon Medders are also scheduled to pitch for the D-backs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Up coming posts

I'm going to try and have a season preview of the dbacks, but knowing the length of my articles on one player, this one might take a while, Expect to see it up before opening day. Meanwhile, across the web, the hardballtimes.com has az the consensus pick to win the west. baseballanalysts.com has thde over unders vegas odds, with the dbacks at 78 wins. They went over, and i think that's an easy decsion. I'll try to think of some worth while posts until i get the season preview up.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

JD Durbin: In depth

Joseph Adam Durbin, born February 24th, 1982, born in Portland Oregon, and attended high school in Scottsdale, Arizona at Coronado High School. Listed 6'0, 188IBs, throws right handed. He was drafted in the 2nd round, 54th overall by the Minnesota Twins in 2000 amatuer draft. At the time, he was capable of throwing in upper 90's, before injuries lowered his velocity. He still throws hard, with a fastball sitting around 92-94 MPH. He's said to have an impressive curveball, throw in the low 80's, which comes out of his hand looking like a fastball. He's career has been marred by injury, with surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in 2004, shoulder tendinitis in 2005, and then missed the last two months of 2006 with a nerve problem in his bicep.

Let's take a look at his stats and minor league track record.

In 2000, he pitched 2 scoreless innings for rookie ball GCL Twins, giving up 2 hits and striking out 4. Not much to say there, since that is the definition of small sample size

In 2001, Durbin was assigned to Elizabethton, the Twins rookie ball affiliate in the Appalachian league. He appeared in 8 games, starting seven, pitching a total of 33.2 innings. He went 3-2 posting an era of 1.87. He gave up 23 hits, and 7 earned runs. He showed good command, striking out 39, and walked 17. He also gave 2 HRs, and 5 wild pitches.

in 2002, he was promoted Quad City, the Twins A Ball affliate in the midwest league.He started 27 games, going 13-4. He pitched 161.0 innings, with a 3.19 ERA. He gave up 144 hits, and 57 Earned runs. He struck out 163 batters, walked 51, and gave up 14 home runs. He also had 6 wild pitches.

In 2003, Durbin split time between High A Fort Myers in the Florida State League, and AA New Britain in the Eastern League. He started 14 games for Fort Myers, going 9-2. He pitched 87.1 innings pitched, with a 3.09Era. He gave up 73 hits, and 30 earned runs. He had 69 strike outs, 22 walks,gave up 3 hrs, and 3 wild pitches. Promoted to New Britain, Durbin Started 14 games, going 6-3. He pitched 94.2 innings, posting an Era of 3.14, giving up 102 hits, 33 earned runs, while striking out 70, walking 29, and giving up 10 hrs. Overall, he had a nice season striking out 139, and walking 51.

In 2004, a lot happened for Durbin. He began the season pitching for AA New Britain again, was promoted to AAA Rochester, than then was called up in September to play for the Twins, Durbin Also had surgery to repair a slight tear on his labrum on May 22, 2004.

Durbin starteed 13 games for New Britain, going 4-1. He pitched 64.1 innings, posting an ERA of 2.52. He gave up 62 hits, and 18 earned runs. He struck out 53, while walking 22, and giving up 4 homeruns. Overall, a pretty impressive stint, and he earned his promotion to Rochester.

Promoted to Rochester, Durbin started 7 games, going 3-2. He pitched 35.2 innings, posting an Era of 4.54 giving up 47 hits, 18 earned runs. he struck out 38 while walking 16 and giving uo 4 homer runs.

Called up to Twins at age 22, Durbin appeared in 4 games, starting one, with an 0-2 record. He pitched a total of 7.1 innings, but was lit up to the tune of a 7.36ERA. He gave up 12 hits, and 6 earned runs. But he managed to have an even K/bb ratio, striking out 6 while walking 6. Overall, Durbin had a relatively strong season considering the labrum surgery. Adding up his number for the season, and he struck out 97, while walking 44. A very solid k/bb ratio.

In 2005, Durbin started year back In AAA Rochester. he appeared in 22 games, and started 19, finsihing with a win-loss record of 5-5. Pitching 104.0 innings, durbin posted a 4.33ERA, giving up 97 hits, and 50 earned runs. He struck out 90, walked 51, and gave up 8 HRs. It's worth noting the 10 wild pitches he had that year. Overall, a relatively weaker year for durbin, with the higher ERA, the HRS, and the wild pitches. He did suffer from shoulder tendinitis that year, so that may have played a factor.

In 2006, once again, Durbin repeated AAA for the third time, all though I can't say it's for lack of performance, it's more due to the injuries. Anyway, in 2006, Durbin started 16 games, posting a 4-2 win/loss record. He pitched 89.0 innings, posting a once again impressive ERA of 2.33. He gave up 67 hits, 23 earned runs. While striking out 81, walking 50, and giving up 3 HRs He missed the last two months due to some kind of nerve problem in his bicep. All though i can't find much more details than that.

Durbin's minor league career line: 47 wins, 22 losses. A career 3.16 ERA, appearing in 123 games, starting 117. 671.2IP, 619hits. 236 earned runs, 607 Strike outs, 258 walks, 46 HRs, and 30 wild pitches.

So what does the future hold for JD Durbin? He's got a good fastball, and excellent strike out rate, doesn't walk many guys. isn't susceptible to the long ball. the only negatives i see are his durability issues, and the fact that he has no options left. I don't think his career at this point makes me think he coud hold up as a starter. i think he'd best off converted to a closer. in that role, he could be elite.

Arizona options Enrique Gonzalez and Dana Eveland to minors

This just in via the Associated Press:

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned right-hander Enrique Gonzalez and lefty Dana Eveland to their minor league camp on Thursday.

Gonzalez and Eveland had been competing to be the Diamondbacks' fifth starter, but each was roughed up in his last spring training outing. Gonzalez had a 6.52 ERA in five games, and Eveland had an 8.25 ERA in five games

This leaves Dustin Nippert and Micah Owings as the final candidates for the fifth spot. With Owings' 4 run outing today in 3IP, it looks like Nippert will be named the fifth starter. This move would also allow a spot in the pen for JD Durbin.

There was also this article earlier this morning from Jack Magruder:

Owings may be 5th starter but begin season in minors

TUCSON - The Diamondbacks are considering a scenario in which Micah Owings starts the season in the minor leagues … and is still the D-Backs’ No. 5 starter. The D-Backs have discussed keeping 14 position players and 11 pitchers on the opening-day roster, and then purchasing Owings’ contract for the April 6 start at Washington.

Such a move would enable the D-Backs to keep at least two players from among Robby Hammock, Dave Krynzel and Brian Barden, and all three if Carlos Quentin (shoulder) begins on the disabled list.

One would be replaced by Owings five days into the season.

“It’s just another option. It’s something we’ve talked about, but nothing’s been settled on yet,” manager Bob Melvin said, without specifying the players involved.

Owings, Enrique Gonzalez and Dana Eveland are considered the leading candidates for the final spot in the rotation, with one of them a candidate for the bullpen when Randy Johnson returns from the disabled list in mid to late April.

Of course, this article was written before the DFA of Krynzel, the aquisition of JD Durbin, and Enrique and Eveland getting sent down. The problem with naming Owings the fifth starter is that he's not on the 40 man roster, and there's no room with him with the recent waiver acquisitions. It'd also start his clock early, and if Owings gets lit up and shows that he isn't quite ready for the big leagues yet, we've just wasted a year of service time. going with Dustin Nippert just makes the most sense. He's already been called up to majors before, so his service clock has already been started, He's in his last option year, he's already on the 40 man roster, and he's had the best spring out of all the starting canidates.

Johnson starts his first game of the spring.vs Padres

Johnson, in split squad action threw 3 scoreless innings, 38 pitches, 28 going for strikes. He gave up 2 hits(one going to the Padres's thirdbasemen kevin Kouzmanoff, who was thrown out by Snyder trying to steal second). Johnson struck out 5. It appears he's recovered nicely from the back surgery. Hopefully he returns off the DL quickly, and returns to the form of the RJ we remember in pitching for Arizona.

The lineup tonight for AZ is
Callaspo SS
Hudson 2b
Tracy 3b
Jackson 1b
Byrnes RF
Hairston LF
Young CF
Snyder C
Johnson - Owings comes in to relieve in the fourth.

Micah Owings has came in on the fourth inning, and if he has a great outing he could make the roster. The Padres have just managed to score two runs off him in the fifth so far. I'll update as the game progress. Edit: dbacks score one off a tracy double in the bottom of the fith, but Owings gives up another two in the sixth inning. edit2: dbacks lose 5-3

The JD Durbin Analysis will have to wait until late tonight, or tommorow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Winter Waiver Wire Pickups Part One- Alex Romero and Jeff Salazar

Josh Byrnes has made two spiffy transactions off the waiver wire this offseason, picking up 23 year old out fielder Alex Romero from the Minnesota Twins, and picking up 26 year old outfielder Jeff Salazar from the Rockies. SInce this will get lengthy if I go over JD Durbin too, i'm going to make this a two part article. In this first part, I'll go over Romero and Salazar. In the next part, I'll go over JD Durbin.

I'd thought i'd once again go in depth into these guy's minor league stats, take a look at their splits, and see what kind of player each guy profiles as. I'll incorporate whatever knowledge I can gleam from the scouting reports I can find.

Alex Romero was born in Venezuela, on September 9, 1983. He bats and throws right handed, and is listed at 6'0, 160IB. He was signed as undrafted free agent at the age of 18 by the Minnesota Twin in 2002. He was assigned to the GCL Twins, Minnesota's rookie ball affiliate, and played 56 games, recieving 186 ABs. He hit 333/.423/.457, with 62 hits, 13 2b, 2 3b, and 2 Hrs. He posted a solid bb/k ratio of 29/14. He stole 16 bases and was caught stealing 6 times.

In 2003, Romero was promoted to Quad City, the Twins A-Ball affliate in the midwest league. He played in 120 games, and received 423 ABs. He had a solid season hitting, all though he didn't show much power, hitting to a tune of .296/.359/.376, with 125 hits, 16 2b, 3 3b, and 4hr. His bb/k ratio wasn't as good as his rookie ball year, but was still solid, drawing 43 walks, while striking out 43 times. Not bad at all. He also stole 11 bases and was caught stealing 8 times. That is a very poor success rate on the base bath. Just for reference, to break even, you need to be succesful about 75% of the time.

In 2004, Romero was promoted to High-A Fort Myers, in the Florida State League. He played in 105 games, also playing Dh that year, and had 380ABs. His slugging percentage rebounded a bit, and hit a line of .292/.387/.405, with 111 hits, 21 2b, 2 3b, and 6HRs. He posted a solid walk to strike out ratio again, drawings 54 walks while striking out 47 times. On the base path, he seems to have taken a more reserved approach, swiping 6 bags, and getting caught 4 times.

2005 was a pretty good year for Romero, playing for New Britain, the Twins AA affiliate at the time. He played in 139 games, amassing 509 at bats. His batting line - 301/.354/.458 - was the season in a microcosm. He hit for more power, but his on base percentage took a dive, and he struck out more than he walked for the first time in his career. HOwever, he still had a very good season 153 hits, with 31 2b, 2 3b, 15 hr. However, he struck out 69 times, while only walking 36 times. His effort on the base bath was very poor also, all though he did steal 12 bases, he was caught 11 times.

in 2006 Romero began the year in AA once again, playing for New Britain for 48 games, and getting 167 at bats before getting promoted to AAA Rochester. In his 167 ABS in AA in 2006, he hit .281/.384/.461, showing improved on base percentage from the year before, and an improved slugging percentage. He had 47hits, 11 2b, 2 3b, and 5 hrs. His bb/k ratio improved from the year before, walking 26 times, while striking out 19. He was also slightly more succesful on the base path swiping 15 bases, while getting caught 7 times.
He was the promoted to AAA Rochester in the International League, appearing in 71 games, and getting 236. It was in Rochester that Romero struggled for the first time, hitting 250/.300/.301, with only 59 hits, 8 doubles and 2 triples, his power completely fell off. He also posted a poor strike out to walk ratio, striking out 22 times to only 15 walks.

So what kind of player is Alex Romero? What does the future hold for him in Arizona? Romero has strong contact skills, with a career .293 average. He's also got a strong on base percentage, at .365. He doesn't hit for much power, but he's a capable doubles hitter. He's shown some speed, swiping 66 bags in his minor league career. His batting splits are interesting, in Rochester, he hit lefties(.263/.333/.351) much better than righties (.246/.289/.285). However, in New Britain, it was the opposite, .204/.310/.408 vs lefties, and .314/.414/.483 vs Righties. I'm not exactly what to make of this.

At age 23, Romero is still a decent prospect, and should begin the year in Tucson and the PCL, a much more hitting friendly enviroment than Rochester and the international league. In a system loaded with guys so much upside like Carlos Quentin, Chris Young, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Upton, and Gerrado Parra, Romero is most likely going to end up as a 4th outfielder along the lines of Jeff Davanon - A guy who can play all three outfield positions well, can get on base at a reasonable clip, and provide a little pop, and a little speed. He's still young though, and he may have more upside than what he's shown in the minors. We'll have to see how he does next year in Tucson.

Next, We'll look at another outfielder, Jeff Salazar. Born in November, 1980, Jeff unlike Romero, bats left handed, and has a lot less upside. Listed at 6'0, 175IB. Originally drafted by the Orioles in 35th round, Jeff elected to attend Oklahoma State instead. He was drafted again by the Rockies in the 8th round of the 2002 draft, and was signed quickly, on June 11th.

in 2002. at age 21, assigned to High A Tri-City in the Northwest league, Salazar played in 72 games, received 268 ABs, with an overall batting line of 235/.351/.328. Pretty poor, but the OBP is impressive, considering the batting average. He had 63 hits, 5 2b, 4 triples, and 4 hrs. He stole 10 bases and was caught stealing 6 times. He walked 47 times, while striking out 43 times. Overall at first glance, a poor season, but signs of promise.

In 2003, Salazar was assigned to A-ball Ashville, in the SAL league, appearing in 129 games, and recieving 486 ABS. He rebounded nicely, hitting to a tune of 287/387/.527, with 138 hits, 23 2b, 43b, and 29 hrs. He swiped 28 bags, and was caught 14 times. He also maintained a positive bb/k ratio, walking 77 times, while striking out 74 times. He also spent 1 game in high a visalia, recieving 5 abs, going 0-5.

In 2004, Salazar returned to High A Visalia(now the Dbacks affliate), and played in 75 games, and recieving 314 ABs before being promoted to AA tulsa. In Visalia, Salazar put up a monstrous line of .347/.419/.586 with 109 hits, 28 2B, 9 3b, and 13 hrs. He stole 17 bases, and was caught stealing only twice. He maintained that positive walk to strikeout ratio, walking 38 times, while striking out 33 times. Impressive, but this was in the hitter's haven that is the california league.

Promoted to AA Tulsa, Salazar played in 58 games, receiving 224 Abs. His batting line in Tulsa -223/.331/.313 - wasn't nearly as impressive as his line in Visalia, but he still showed the ability to get on base. Walking 35 times, and striking out 31 times. He was also succesful on the basebaths, swiping 10 bags, and stealing 3. He had 50 hits with 13 doubles, 2 triples, and one homerun
In 2005, Salazar split time between AA Tulsa and AAA Colorado Springs. In his 69 games, and 266ABs at Tulsa, Salazar rebounded nicely, hitting .278/.381/.410 with 74 hits, 13 doubles 2 triples and 6 HRS. He wasn't as successful on the base paths, swiping 12 bags, but getting gunned down 8 times. His plate discipline took a slight dive, striking out 49 times, but still walking 44 times. 4 of the walks he received, however, were intentional, so his k/bb goes down to 49/40. Salazar was then promoted to the hitting friendly environment of Colorado Springs. He played in 59 games, with 236 ABS, putting up a .263/.349/.436 line with 62 hits, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 6hrs, swiping 5 bags, and getting caught twice. His plate discipline took another dive, as he struck out 58 times, while walking 32 times. A decent season, overall, but dissapointing to see his plate discipline continue to suffer.

In 2006, Salazar split time between AAA Colorado Springs, and a stint with the Rockies. He appeared in 85 games, with 328 for Colorado Springs, putting up a .265/.357/.433 line with 87 hits, 14 doubles, 7 triples, and 9 hrs. He swiped 12 bags, and was gunned down 5 times. Hw struck out 64 times, and earned 46 free passes. He was promoted to the Majors for 19 games, with 55 at bats, hitting .283/.409/.415 with 15 hits, 4 doubles. and a home run. He stole 2 bases with out getting caught. He walked 11 times, while striking out 16 times. He played CF for the Rockies.

What kind of player is he, based off his stats? So what kind of career does the future hold for the 26 year old outfielder? Well, Salazar has shown good on base percentages over his career, with good power, and good steal rate. He, like Romero, can play all 3 outfield positions. According to his split last year, he can't hit lefties - .205/.315/.295 vs LHP, compared to .283/.369/.478 vs righties. I think Salazar, like Romero, will end up as a 4th or 5th outfielder. I'd think he's more likely to be called up this year if he's needed, as opposed to Romero, who hasn't used any of his options yet. If things go well for Salazar, he's another option to replace Jeff Davanon and Eric Byrnes next year in their roles as 4th and 5th outfielders, a la 2006.

So my brain and my hand is hurting after writing all of this, so i'll get on the JD Durbin analysis later tonight. I need to take a break. I hope you(whoever out there who actually reads my blog) enjoys this piece. Please, if you have any insight, leave a comment.

Dbacks claim outfielder Jeff Salazar off waivers from the rockies

Per rotoworld

Diamondbacks claimed outfielder Jeff Salazar from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Triple-A Tucson.

Another solid pickup for D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes, but he already has too many outfielders than he knows what to do with. Like Alex Romero, who was picked up on waivers from the Twins over the winter, Salazar projects as a solid reserver. He plays a pretty good center field and has a fair amount of on-base ability. Maybe he'll get an opportunity in 2008.

Random Stuff+evaluating the fifth starter candidates

So I have a couple things I'd like to go over today. First, we now have full details on the Julio for Petit trade. The Diamondbacks will be sending over 1 million to the Marlins, to help pay for Julio's 3.6 million dollar salary..

Next up, I'd like to note a few thins which i should have touched up in my article on the bench. After looking at Barden's and Hammock's splits against left and right handers, I noticed the following. Barden's line vs LHP: .220/.286/.312, compared to .329/.391/.544 vs right handers. Hammock however, hit lefties to a tune of .280/.331/.551 and righties .297/.349/.502. I think It's safe to say I may be wrong about Barden being the better choice to make the roster. Why? Chad Tracy. His Career line vs lefties .228 /.282/ .349. That's pretty god awful, to be honest. If Tracy he doesn't prove that he can hit lefties this year, he'll soon find him self in a platoon role.

I also should note that Hammock has actually looked pretty good at the catcher's position, gunning down a few guys.

Next up, now that Edgar Gonzales has won the 4th spot in the rotation, the candidates for the fifth appear to come down to Dustin Nippert, Dana Eveland, and Micah Owings. Enrique Gonzalez appears to have pitched himself out of the running. I'll first go over each player's minor league record, then how they're doing this spring. I'll start with Eveland, then Nippert, then Owings. After all of that, I'll give you my opinion on who should win the final spot.

Dana Eveland, born October 29, 1983. Listed 6'1, 220 pounds. All though I'm not so sure he's 220 pounds. I'd say more like 230. He's the only lefty of the three, which is a plus. Eveland has a stellar minor league track record, but hasn't really translated those into big league results yet.

Drafted out of Hill College in the 16th round(469th overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 at age 19, Eveland was assigned the Brewers Rookie ball affliate in the Pioneer league. Appearing in 19 games and 26IP, Eveland went 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 41, while walking only 8. He gave up onmly one home run. His 14.19K was quite impressive, as was his 2.77BB9.
In 2004, Eveland pitched 117.1 innings for the brewers midwest league affiliate. He posted a 2.84 ERA, striking out 119, while only walking 24, and giving up 8hrs. He was then promoted to the pitching friendly environment of the AA southern league. In 23.2 IP, he posted a 2.28 Era, struck out 14, and walked 4.
In 2005 he pitched in AA again, pitching 109 innings, and starting 18 games. He put up an ERA of 2.72, striking out 98, walking 28 and gave up 4 hrs. During that season he was called up to Milwaukee, appearing in 27 games, pitching 31.2 innings in relief. He fared decently, considering he had yet to pitch in AAA at this point. he went 1-1, with an era of 5.97. He struck out 23, walked 18, and gave up 2 hrs.
In 2006, Eveland started out in AAA Nashville, in the PCL. He appeared in 20 games, starting 19, and pitched a total of 105 innings. His ERA was 2.74. He struck out 110, walked 41, and gave up 4hrs. Eveland earned a promotion to the Brewers again, but this time he didn't fare so well, and was lit up to a tune of an 8.13ERA, giving up 25 earned runs in just 27.2 innings pitched. He did maintain a good strike out to walk ratio, striking out 32, while walking 16.

Dana Eveland did very poor in his last start, giving up nine runs in his last start, but still getting the win. It's worth noting that of the 11 earned runs he's given up this spring, 9 of them came in his last start. His ERA at this point 8.25 and he's got a K/BB of 6/5. That last start came on a ver very windy day, as just about every game held in the cactus league that day was a high scoring affair. San Diego scored 24 runs against Texas. Even with his poor outing, Eveland could still make the roster in the bullpen, as left handed long reliever.

Dustin Nippert. is the oldest and tallest of the three pitchers, born may 6th 1981, and listed at 6'7 and 210 pounds, and throws right handed. Drafted out of West Virginia University in the 15th round(459th overall) by the Diamondbacks in the 2002 amateur draft, at age 21.
He signed quickly and was assigned to Missoula, the Diamondbacks rookie ball affliate in the pioneer league. He appeared in 17 games, starting 11, pitched a total 54.2 innings, with w-l record of 4-2 He posted an era of 1.65, striking out 77, walking 9, and giving up 2 home runs. Impressive at first glance, but he was old for the level.
He started 2003 in Low A South Bend, in the midwest league, appearing and starting in 17 games, pitching 95.2 innings, going 6-4. He posted an ERA of 2.82, struck out 96, walked 32, and gave up 4 home runs.
In 2004, Nippert was promoted to AA El Paso, an extremely hitter friendly enviroment. He started 14 games, going 2-5, with 71.2 innings pitched. He posted an era of 3.64, struck out 73, walked 40, and gave up no home runs.
In 2005, the Diamondbacks had a new AA affliate, in the more pitcher friendly confines of the southern league. He started 18 games, and pitched 118.1 innnings, with an 8-3 record. He posted an era of 2.36, struck out 97, walked 42, and gave up 4 home runs.
He was called up to the Major Leagues, and started 3 games, going 1-0 in 14.2 innings pitched. He posted an era of 5.52, struck out11, walked 13, and gave up 1 home run.
Nippert started out 2006 with AAA Tucson in the PCL, another extremely hitter friendly enviroment. Going 13-8, in his 24 starts, he pitched a career high 140.1 innings, posting an ERA of 4.87. He struck out 130, walked 52, and gave up 11 home runs. He was also called up for 2 starts with the diamondbacks, and unlike his previous stint with the diamondbacks, he didn't fare so well. He was tabbed with losses in both starts, and was lit up to the tune of a 11.70 ERA in his ten innings pitched. He struck out 9, walked 7, and gave up FIVE home runs. A lot of people commented that Nippert looked shaky on the mound, and had trouble pitching from the stretch. Nippert has the most potential out of all three of these guys, he just hasn't been able to show it consistently. He's got one option year left, so he has a year to figure it out.

Dustin Nippert had an excellent outing today against the White Sox, posting 5 scoreless innings, giving up 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out one. He lowered his ERA down to 2.30. Over the course of the spring he's struck out 8, and walked nine.

Micah Owings, born September 28, 1982, listed at 6'5, 230 pounds, doesn't have as long a track record in the minors as Eveland or Nippert, but he does have a long track record as a two-way player for Georgia Tech and Tulane. In his three season in college, he struck out 305, while walking only 80, and giving up 33 hrs. His Era in his three years were 3.99, 3.89, and 3.26. He also batted 318/.394/.549 in 255 ABs, with 15hrs, and 14 doubles in 2004, and .355/.470/.719 in 217 ABs with 18hrs, 3 3b, and 19 2b in 2005. He's won several awards in his amuteur and college career.

In 2002 he was drfted 50th overall by the Colorado Rockies, but elected to go to college. In 2004 he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 19th round, but didn't sign. In 2005, he was drafted in the 3rd round by the Diamondbacks. He was assigned to High A lancaster, appearing in 16 games, pitching 22 innings relief. He had an era of 2.45 with 30 strikeouts, 4 walks, and 0 hrs.

In 2006 he was assigned to AA Tennessee, starting in 12 games, and pitching 74.1 innings. He posted an Era of 2.91 with 69 strike outs, 17 walks, and 4 homers. He was promoted mid-season to AAA Tucson, and put up 3.70 era with 61 strikeouts, 34 walks, and 4 homers.

Micah Owings is by far having the most impressive spring out of the three of these guys, and is a dark horse canidate to win the job, as he's not on the 40 man roster, and has about a year and half expierence pitching in the minor leagues. He's sporting an Era of 1.93. He's given up 11 hits, 3 runs, and has struck out 11 while walking only 6.

Now that we've finished that exercise, who should win the final spot? It's a tough one. Eveland appears to be headed to the bullpen, but he would be my first choice for the spot. Owings is having an impressive spring, and showed that he could handle AAA pitching last year, but he really doesn't have that much expierence in the minors. At this point, I'd go with Nippert. He's having a solid spring, and this is his last option year.

Going over the stats: Yusmeiro Petit

Yusmeiro Petit, born Nov 22, 1984, was an undrafted free agent signed by the New York Mets. Listed at a generous 6’0, 180IB, A right handed pitcher, Petit has never had overwhelming stuff, generally working in the low 90’s, high 80s. Scouts have often touted his impeccable control, and his ability to mix up his pitches at different speeds.

Petit began his professional career in 2003 at age 18, pitching for Kingsport, the Met’s rookie ball affiliate. In 12 games, and 62.0 IP, Petit went 3-3, giving up 47 hits, and giving up only 16 Earned Runs, giving him a stellar ERA of 2.32. He showed impressive control, striking out 65, while only walking 8. He gave up only 2 HRs, and a solid 9.44 K/9, 1.16 BB/9, and a 6.82 h/9.

Promoted to Low-A Brooklyn, Petit posted even better numbers., albeit in only 12.1 innings. He showed the same impeccable K/bb ratio, striking out 20 while only walking 2, leading to a k/9 of 14.59. He gave up only 5 hits, and 3 runs, giving him a once again stellar ERA of 2.19

In 2004, Petit, then 19, started the year for Capital City in the SAL league. Once again, his impeccable control and command of his pitches showed. He played in and started 15 games, going 9-2 with 2.39 ERA. He struck out 122 batters, walked 22, and gave up only 47 hits, and 8 HRS. He had an unworldly K9 of 13.23, a solid BB9 of 2.339, and H9 of 0.87. Clearly dominating the league, Petit was promoted to High-A St. Lucie. Petit started 9 games, with 44.1 IP, posting an ERA of 1.22. He gave up 9 hits, and only 6 runs, along with ZERO HRS. He struck out 62, walked 14, giving him a K9 and BB9 of 12.59, and 2.84, respectively. Petit was the promoted once again, finishing off the year pitching 12 innings, and starting 2 games for AA Birmingham. Since 12 innings is a truly small sample size, I won’t go into detail here.

In 2005, Petit, 20 started the year in Birmingham. He started 21 games, pitching 117.2 innings going 9-3 with a 2.91 ERA. He also pitched two complete games. He gave up 90 hits, but gave up 15 Hrs. That’s more than all his previous season combined. However, he still should impressive control, striking out 130, while only walking 18. His k/9 was still strong, 9.94, his bb/9 1.38

It was upon his promotion to triple a Norfolk, that he bgan to show signs that he wasn’t as good as his numbers suggested. All though only pitching in 3 games, and throwing 14.21 IP, Petit gave up 24 hits, 5HRs, and 15 ers. He also walked 6, but still struck out 14.

On November 24, 2005, Petit was traded by the Mets with Mike Jacobs and Grant Psomas to Marlins for Carlos Delgado and cash. Petit started the year with AAa Albuquerque, in the PCL, a well known hitter’s league. His numbers, now exposed to a higher level of play, and a more hitter friendly environment suffered. He started 17 games, pitching just under 97 IP, posting an ERA of 4.28. He gave up 101 hits, 14 going out as homer runs, and overall he gave up 46 Earned runs. He still showed a solid K/bb ratio, striking out68 out while walking 20. His k9 fell from his normal level in 8-9 range, down to 6.33.

Petit was called up to the marlins, and pitched 26.1 innings. Needless to say, he did very poorly. He sported an ERA of 9.57, he gave up 46 hits, 38 Earned runs, and 7 hrs. However, there is a slight bright side to his short stint with the Marlins, he managed to strike out more than he walked. K’ing 20, while giving out only 9 free passes.

So what does the future hold for Yusmeiro Petit? He’s a flyball pitcher, now pitching in one the most hitter friendly ballparks in the league(And that’s the same if he’s pitching in Tucson Electric Ballpark, or in Chase Field). I think there’s hope for him though. He’s still only 22, and he’s got impressive command of the strike zone. Petit was once a highly regarded prospect, and I think GM Josh Byrnes could have done a lot worse in this trade.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hairston and Edgar Gonzalez lock up spots on roster

I've been sick all day, and in a ton of pain, so I haven't had a chance to write up the Julio-Petit trade. Anyway, I'll make this quick. From azcentral.com

Gonzalez named 4th starter
Hairston also makes Opening Day roster
Andrew Bagnato
Associated Press
Mar. 27, 2007 02:30 PM

TUCSON - Right-hander Edgar Gonzalez came to spring training confident he could win a spot on the Arizona Diamondbacks' pitching staff.

He did more than that. Manager Bob Melvin on Tuesday named Gonzalez his fourth starter. The 24-year-old is scheduled to make his first start at Washington April 5.

"I'm so happy," Gonzalez said. "I was focused on that. I've been working hard every day, doing my job."

Gonzalez has a 3.32 ERA in five spring starts, and he has struck out 14 in 19 innings while walking only two.

"He earned it," Melvin said. "He deserves it. He's probably considerably ahead of everybody else right now."

Gonzalez will follow reigning NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb, Livan Hernandez and Doug Davis in the Diamondbacks' rotation. There's still a spirited battle for the No. 5 spot, although it figures to be a short-lived assignment with Randy Johnson expected to join the rotation within a few weeks.

Melvin said he was impressed with the way Gonzalez' confidence has improved, especially after he struggled early in his career.

In 2004, Gonzalez, then only 21, went 0-9 with a 111-loss Diamondbacks club. He spent most of the next season at Triple-A Tucson. Gonzalez pitched one third of an inning in the majors that season, allowing two hits, two walks and four runs. His ERA for the season: 108.00.

"Rebounding off 04 and some of the troubles he's had in the big leagues before, to have the edge and the confidence and everything that he's showing out there right now, it's a natural," Melvin said.

Gonzalez said he has matured and become comfortable throwing breaking pitches in any count.

Gonzalez said he has "a lot more confidence in everything - my mind, my body, my delivery, my pitches."

Gonzalez wasn't the only Diamondback who came out of Melvin's office with a big smile on Tuesday. Outfielder Scott Hairston learned he had earned a spot on the opening day roster - and may start April 2 at Colorado if Carlos Quentin's shoulder injury doesn't heal.

Hairston was hitting .400 in 21 spring training games with three home runs and 12 RBI. Twelve of his 20 hits were for extra bases.

Hairston seemed a lock to make the club, but he welcomed Melvin's confirmation. Melvin said Hairston "has been big-league ready for a while" but "has been caught in the numbers game for years."

Hairston has bounced between Tucson and Phoenix each of the last three seasons, hitting .246 with 13 homers and 31 RBI in 125 big league games.

He's a veteran of the 90-mile drive between the cities. This time, he'll make it when the Diamondbacks break camp on Wednesday.

"I've always dreamed about experiencing opening day in the big leagues," said the 26-year-old Hairston, who lives in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert. "I've been in the big leagues but never for opening day. I'm really looking forward to it."

Also worth noting is that Hairston banged out three homers in three consecutive innings, to left, center, and right off Rockies' pitcher Josh Fogg. The 16mph winds could have played a factor, as San Diego scored 24 runs against Texas in their action today. Anyway, i'm going back to getting some rest. Hopefully, i can get a write up of the Petit trade, Edgar and Hairston making the roster, and the battle for the final spots in the rotation and pen.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Diamondbacks trade RHRP Jorge Julio+Cash for Fla's Yusmeiro Petit

The deal was just announced. I'll have stats and analysis. later. Petit's Fb/9 and HR/9 are pretty scary, and may not bode well in the hitting friendly confines of Chase Field.

The Saga of Scott Hairston and the Battle for the Bench!

In today's post, we're going to look at the final players vying for a spot on the opening day rostor. The first subject of this lengthy post is DBBP fan favorite Scott Hairston. If you don't know, here's why Scott Hairston deserves to be the starting left fielder.

1. Scott Hairston is out of options, that means, if he doesn't make the team, he must be A) traded, or B) passed through waivers. Unfortunately Hairston is too good to slip through waivers. 2. Eric Byrnes is a slightly above average offensive centerfielder, and an average-below average defensive centerfielder. Last year, he had a career year. In CF, Byrnes holds some value. Once he shifts to left field , he may become one of the leagues better defensive left fielders but he's just not cutting it on offense. For argurment sake, last year, league average for a CF in the NL was 264/.335/.418, for an NL leftfielder it's 277/.359/.478 3) Scott Hairston is cheaper(salary is major league mininum) than Eric Byrnes(4.25 Million), and by most projection systems, he's expected to easily outproduce Byrnes offensively. (.276/.334/.522 with 22hrs for Hairston, .265/.323/.462 with 20 hrs for Byrnes). It's also worth noting that Scott is 4 years younger. Not to mention, Byrnes never hit as well as Hairston in the minors. Scott also has almost no trade value at this point, even though clearly he is a good offensive player, let's take a look at his minor league track record.

Scott Hairston, Age 27. Scott Hairston attended High school in my home town, Tucson, Arizona, at Canyon del Oro High school. He was drafted in the 19th round in 1999 by the White Sox, but did not sign, and enrolled and played at Central Arizona College. In 2001 he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 3rd round, 98th overall. He was assigned to Missoula in the Pioneer leaugue, where he posted a line of .347/.437/.588, in 74 games, 14 hrs and 34 XBH overall. His k/bb ratio was a respectable 50/38. In 2002 he was assigned to low-A South Bend in the Midwest league, hitting 332/.426/.563 with 16 hrs and 55 XBH overall in 109 games, with a 74/56 k/bb, before earning a promotion to high A. In 18 games in High-A Lancaster he hit 405/.442/.797, adding another 6 HRs ands 27 XBH, and a 6/16 k/bb of . In 2003 he began the year in AA El Paso, posting a line of .276/.345/.469, with 10HRs, and 38 XBH, and a 20/30 k/bb. 2003 appears to be an injury shortened year, as he listed as only playing 88 games, with one at bat in tucson, as a pinch hitter.

2004 is a year Scott Hairston, and many Diamondbacks fans will remember well(and most want to forget, mostly for the franchise record losses). Hairston began the year in Tucson, playing 28 games, in 115 at bats in Tucson he had a batting line of .313/.375/.565, with 5HRs, 16 XBH, and a 21/11 k/bb.. Meanwhile, on the Major League team, everything went to shit, and just about every starter was injured. Hairston got called up, and IMHO, did pretty well, hitting
248/.293/.442, with 13 HRS, 6 3B, and 15 2B. However, his k/bb was a rather poor 88/21. The season ended, and some how, Hairston must have really pissed off someone in the organization. Some say he missed a bunt sign, others say he kicked Joe Garagiola Jr's dog. Or maybe his defense at second base was just atrocious, and he was moved to the outfield, and returned to AAA Tucson. In 58 games, and 209 at bats, Hairston posted a line of 311/.384/.608, another 16 HRs, 3 triples, and 8 doubles and an improved 21/40 k/bb He also spent15 games with Arizona, which i don't recall at all. He got 20 at bats, which consisted of approximately one hit, and 6 strike outs.

So Scott Hairston has an impressive minor league track record, with only two real weaknesses in his game. Well three, if you count his terrible luck. His first weakness is that he has a tendency to strike out a bit too much, and second he's not the best defensive player. At his original position of second base, he's committed 77 errors. He shows poor defensive baseball instincts at times. The Dbacks have converted him to left field, and the games i've seen him in Tucson last year, he looked average, and occasionally pretty good.

So here comes the off season. Eric Byrnes is slated to take over left field for the year. Top prospects Chris Young and Carlos Quentin have wisely been given the starting jobs in Center and Right Field, respectively. If you're a visitor of the DBBP forums, you should be aware of why Scott Hairston should have the job in left field, and why Eric Byrnes should be traded. And with Jeff Davanon and now Carlos Quentin injured, and likely to start the season on the DL. you see why keeping Eric Byrnes is needed. Anyway, Hairston is having a fine spring hitting .391/.462/.804 with 18 hits, six doubles, two triples, and three homeruns in 46 ABS.

So the decision should be easy: Trade Eric Byrnes. However, with out Byrnes, we would be an outfielder short. So with Quentin injured, and Davanon injured, Scott Hairston will start in left field, Chris Young will play center, and Eric Byrnes will play right. So Hairston finally gets a job, and hopefully he keeps it.

Now that we've gone over the Saga of Scott Hairston, we move on to the battle for the bench.

There should be two spots left on roster, and we essentially have three candidates. Johnny Estrada trade throw in, and former first round draft pick disappointment, Dave Krynzel. Then we have fan favorite, super-utility catcher of Randy Johnson's perfect game, Robby Hammock. Finally we have the underdog, overlooked infielder with the alliterative name, Brian Barden. Let's take a look a look at each, their minor league track records, and look at their chances of making the roster.

Dave Krynzel, age 26, drafted 11th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2000 drafted at out of highschool at age 18. He began his minor league career in the pioneer league rookie ball. All though he only played 34 games, he had a strong season batting 359/.442/.489 with 47 hits, 8 doubles, 3 triples, one HR and a k/bb of 23/16 in 131ABS. He also stole 8 bases, and was caught stealing 4 times.
In 2001, Krynzel began the year with MIL A Ball affliate, Beloit, in the Midwest league. He spent 35 games there, getting 141 ABs, hitting 305/.364/.348, this time with 43 hits, 1 double, 1 triple, one home run, and k/bb of 28/9. Weird. He stole 11 bases, and was caught stealing 5 times. Partway through 2001, Krynzel was promoted to High-A High Desert, playing in 89 games, and getting 383 at bats. His batting line at High Desert was 277/.329/.392 with 19 2b, 5 3b, and 5 home runs and he stole 34 bases. However he was caught stealing 17 times, and he had an atrocious 122/27 K/bb ratio. In 2002 Krynzel began the year again in High Desert, playing 97 games. In 365 ABS he batted .268/.391/.460. with 12 2b, 12 3b, 11 HRS, 29 Sb/17CS 100/64 k/bbKrynzel was promoted to AA Huntsville for 31 games, and in 129ABs hit .240/.269/.349, with 2 2b, 3 3b, 2 HRs. 13 SB/5CS, 20/4 k/bb Krynzel spent all of 2003 in AA Huntsville, playing 124 games. In 457 ABs he hit .267/.357/.357, he had 122 hits, 13 2b, 11 3b, and 2HRs, 43 SB/21CS ,119/60 K/bb. In 2004 hew played in the AFL, and in 16 games and 41 ABS hit .500/.600/.688, with 8 hits, 1 2b, 1 3b, two stolen bases, and a 2/3 k/BB.
in 2004 he played 69 games for AAA Indy, and in 257 ABS, hit 276/.332/.416, with 71 hits, 10 2b, 4 3b, 6 HRS, 10 SB, 8 CS a 65/20 K/bbHe was called up to MIL, playing 16 games with the big club, and getting 41 ABS. He hit poorly - .220/.319/.244, 9 hits, 1 2b, 15/3 k/bb - and earned his ticket to nashville in 2005. He played 115 games, getting 450abs, hitting 256/.324/.416 with 115 hits, 25 2b, 7 3b, 11hrs, 24sb/8 cs with a 138/43 k/bb. He was called up for 5 games with MIL, getting 7 at bats. He had no hits, and struck out 3 times. Last year, Krynzel spent the year once again in AAA, not even earning the cup of coffee this time. He played in 116 games, amassing 359 ABs. His average is terrible, but he has made a few strides - .231/314/.359 - 83 hits, 17 2b, 4 3b, 7 HRS. 40Sb/4CS and a 107/42 k/bb. So that's Dave krynzel's minor league record. it is far from impressive, but a few things stand out. He's fast. 197 career stolen bases and 51 career triples. He's got very little power, and he strikes out wayyyy too much. He's slowly made some progress with his plate disciple, whihc is a sign of encouragement.

Under new Arizona hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, it appears Krynzel has had a revival this spring, In 33 at bats, Krynzel is hitting .364/.450/.576. with 2 2b, a 3b, a HR, and 4 SBs. Also worth noting is he has showed some plate discipline, with a BB/K ratio of 6/10. These are some nice stats, but of course, the small sample size warning still applies. Defensively, Krynzel has looked good in the outfield, and most importantly, he can play all three outfield positions. With Jeff Davanon on the DL, Quentin possibly headed to the dl, and Scott Hairston limited to left field, Krynzel's defensive versatility gives him an edge on making the roster as Barden, and hammock can not play CF. One thing worth noting is that there is a small chance Krynzel could pass through waivers, but I'm willing to bet at least one team would be willing to take a flier on him.

Next up let's look at the right handed hitter Brian Barden, 26 years old. Drafted as a third basemen, Barden's minor league career has been pretty mediocre, consedering the hitting enviroments he played, such as Lancaster, El Paso, and Tucson. In his freshmen year in college at Oregon State University he posted an unbelievable line of .370/.433/.597, 67 hits, 13 2b, 2 3b, 8hrs, 1sb/1cs. He posted a .367/.423/.540 line in 2001, and a 349/.398/.539 line in 2002

After he signed with Arizona in 2002,he was assigned to Low A Yakima, playing 4 games, and in 15 at bats hitting 333/.412/.400, with 5 hits, a 2b, and 1/1 K/bb. He was then promoted to Lancaster for 64 games. In 269 at bats he hit.335/.370/.502 with 90 hits, 19 2b, a 3b, 8hrs, 3SB/1CS and 63/16 k/bb. It's worth noting that the california league is a notorious hitter's league, and Lancaster in particular is an extreme hitter's park. Barden spent 2003 at AA El Paso, in the Texas league, another hitter's haven. Barden played in 109 games, and in his 383 at bats he hit .287/.348/.399 with 110 hits, 24 2B, 5 3b, 3 HRs, 10SB/4CS, and a 76/29 k/BB. In 2004, Barden started off the year again in AA El Paso, playing 48 games there. In his 195ABS before being promoted to AAA Tucson, Barden had offensive line of 303/.335/.462 with 59hits, 10 2B, 6 3B, 3 HRs, 1sb/2CS and a 46/10 K/bb.

Barden finished off 2004 playing 89 games with AAA Tucson. In his 332 ABs, he hit 283/.324/.476 with 94 hits, 30 2b, 5 3b, 8 hrs, 14SB/5CS and a 83/17 K/BB. He also started playing second base in addition to 3b at this point for the sidewinders. In 2005 Barden spent the year in Tucson again, playin gin a career high 135 games. In his 518 ABS, he hit 307/.363/.483 with 159 hits, 36 2b, 5 3b, 15hrs, 14sb/5 CS, and a 111/38 k/bb. Career highs for Barden that year in hits, doubles, homers, stolen bases, and slugging percentage in his pro career. In 2006, Barden was once again slated for Tucson, especially after Chad Tracy's monster year for the Dbacks playing third base, his main position. Playing 128 games for the 2006 AAA champion Tucson Sidewinders, Barden followed up his 2005 year with another impressive year. In 494 at bats Barden hit .298/.361/.478 with 147 hits, 35 2b, 3 3b, 16HRs, 1sb/3CS and a 92/44 K/BB. Barden strikes out too much to become a MLB regular, but his defensive versatility and power coming off the bench could allow him to stick with a major league club. So now that I've gone over Barden's MIL track record, how is he doing this spring? In 22ABs, he's hitting .409/435/.636, with 2hrs, and 4 2b. And his bb/k ratio? 2/5.

So who makes the cut for the final spots on the roster? Dave Krynzel and Brian Barden. After reviewing this post, it appears i have forgotten Robby Hammock, The fact ii forgot him should give you a summation of my opinion of him. He's old, so he's 30. He was never that good. He can play lots of positions but none of them well. (how often is a club going to use that emergency 3rd catcher) The last two spots are better used evaluating guys with no options left, like hairston and krynzel. With Alberto Callaspo, Brian Barden, Scott Hairston, Dave Krynzel, and Tony clark, we have the field covered in regards to back ups.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Spring Training Starting Rotating Rumble! Battle for spots #4 and #%+5!!!!!11one!!

Let's look at the battle for the four and five spots in the starting rotation. Tommorow, we'll look at the battle between Hairston, Krynzel, Hammock, and Barden for the spots on the bench. Then we'll start taking a look at the position players. Then to end the week, we'll look at the starting rotation. At the end of the week, when the final roster is announced, we'll do the bullpen and bench. Sporadically featured through out the week will be random coverage of spring traing games and updates, along with what other dbacks related news article I find on the web, with plenty of nonsensical smack taking and overall rambling thrown in. Please st tuned, because this year, there'll be plenty for me to ramble about.

I was going to do a feature on the roster going into the season, but there are still a few spots left in the air. With Outfielder Jeff Davanon and Starting pitcher Randy Johnson starting on the disabled list, and now possibly right fielder Carlos Quentin injured with s slight tear in his labrum, there's a few spots left on the roster. Another thing worthy of note is the likelhood that the diamondbacks will trade RHP Jorge Julio. Today,
The competetion for the fourth and fifth spot consists of RHP Edgar Gonzalez, Enrique Gonzalez, Dustin Nippert, Micah Owings, and LHP Dana Eveland.

Edgar Gonzalez has had a stellar spring, and is out of options, so he appears to be a lock make the rotation, and stay in the rotation afte Johnson returns sometime in mid-late April. Edgar has added a solid change up to his pitching repertoire, and was solid last year pitching for the big club, posting a 4.22 ERA, with a bb/k ratio of 9/28. This spring he's posted an Era of
3.32, with 14 strike outs, and only two walks.
Dana Evgeland seems likely to either to make the 5th spot, or end up in the pen. Eveland has a stellar minor league record. in 83 minor league games over 4 seasons, he's posted a sparkling 2.69 ERa, a b/kk ratio of 115/382, a k/9 of 9.02, a bb/9 of 2.72, and a WHIP of 116. So based on his minor league track record, I think Eveland deserves the last spot.

Micah Owings has had a mighty fine spring, and a stellar minor leaugue and college record. Last year he was the orginzational minor leaugue pitcher of the year. The other day, in B squad game against the Padres, he had a 5 inning shut out performance. In the minor leaugdes, he does have a nice bb/k rstio of 55/150, and ERA of 3.23. Owings minor leaugue numbers aren't that impressive, but he has a stellar winning record, going 17-3 over two seasons. In addition he was a two way player in college, and carries an impressive bat. In college he had OPS's in two years over .900. Owings still needs some polish, and i'd expect him to start the year in triple A, at least until the all star break, that way he can work on his seconday pitches, and avoid starting his service clock too soon. This spring he's been amazing, with an era of 1.93, but only 5 strike outs, and 2 walks.

Dustin Nippert is an enigma. He's got a bb/k ratio of 175/473, and k/9 just under 9. Out of all the pitchers, the 6'7 right hander has got the most potential, but he still needs to work on his secondary pitches, and working out of the stretch. But he too has had a good spring, with an era of 3.38, but 7 strike outs to go with 7 walks.

Enrique Gonzalez, I'm not sure what to say. He's had the weakest spring, but was respectable in the rotation last year. He doesn't have the best stuff, but he seems to have good control.He had a walk out to strike out ratio 33/64. His Era wasn't something to write home about(5.87). He's got a small frame (5-11, 180IB) and doeesn't strike out as many guys(5.o k0) and he gives up too many hits(9.10 H9.). He wasn't terrible, and is decent pitcher, I just don't think he's the best choice for the 5th spot. Bob Melving seems to be leaning towards giving the spot. It is essentially going to be for 4 or 5 starts. My point is a think those four or five starts should be used to evaluate Nippert or Eveland. I propose that we A) Put him in the bullpen, as a replacement in the Jorge Julio trade or B.) Send him to AAA and put him in a relief, and see how he does in that role.

In this blogger's opinion, I think the team would be best off having Edgar and Eveland in the rotation, Nippert in the pen, and Enrique and Owings down in Tucson. However, Bob Melvin has indicated that he'd go with Edgar and Enrique in the rotation, and Eveland in the pen. OOwings would likely be called up later in the year.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The rambler is BACK!

I know I've been gone all offseason, but I've mostly done it to avoid the media circus that is the MLB offseason, and the hot stove. So a lot has changed in the world of the Diamondbacks. Gone is Gonzo, who's now signed with our hated divisional rivals, the Dodgers. And instead of blocking our top prospects, he's thankfully blocking the Dodgers. Gone too is Craig Counsell, signed with the Brewers. Also gone is Miguel Batista, who signed an outrageous 3 year, 25m contract to provide solid mediocrity for the Mariners.

The diamondbacks made two big trades. First, Josh Byrnes traded catcher Johnny Estrada, (along with Claudio Vargas and Greg Aquino) for veteran lefty starter Doug Davis, solid lefty starting prospect Dana Eveland, and OF Dave Krynzel. At first glance, the trade seems like a wash, as Davis was in the last year of his contract.

Davis has posted 200+IP regularly over the last few years, while posting a serviceable ERA. If he can cut down on the walks, and rely on the solid AZ defense he should do well in Arizona. In addition, GM Josh Byrnes quickly signed Davis to a three year, 22m extension, keeping him in Arizona through 2009.

Dana Eveland, who hasn't had much success in his limited time in MLB, has posted some mighty fine numbers in the minor leagues. Only 23 years old, with less than a year of MLB service time, Eveland has a minor league record that consists of an ERA of 2.69, with K/BB ratio of 382/115. His k/9 is 9.02, and he's given up less than a homer every nine innings. That's one stellar track record. The only knock on Eveland is physique, which many have compared to David Wells. We're not trying to sell jeans here, we're trying to win baseball games.

Dave Krynzel, a former first round draft pick, at first glance seemed to be a thrown in, as he has been described as both a "bust" and a AAAA player. However, Krynzel has made quite the showing in Spring Training, and may crack the opening day roster, with Jeff Davanon expected to be on the DL, and RF Carlos Quentin suffering from a slight tear in his labrum.

Then of course, Josh Byrnes traded Vizcaino, minor league pitchers Ross Ohlendorf, Stephen Jackson, and Middle Infielder Alberto Gonzalez for..... Randy Johnson. Yes, the same Randy Johnson who we know and love for his four cy youngs, and his world series MVP. Johnson had a poor year for the Yankees, winning 17 games, albeit with an ERA over 5. However, all of his peripherals suggest that that was largely due to bad luck, and a bad back. Most experts are expecting Rj to rebound nicely, with an ERA somewhere in the 3.5-4.0 range.

Josh Byrnes also managed to claim Alex Eomero, a mighty fine OF prospect off waivers from the Twins. All though he's not as good as our more heralded out field prospects like Chris Youing, Quentin, Upton, Or Gonzalez, he should make a servicable 4th outfielder, along the lines of Jeff Davanon.

And finally, there was one big change. Gone are the days of purple, teal, and copper. They have been replaced by Sedona Red and Sonoran Sand. The old colors, logos, and uniforms have been discarded in favor of much more fashionable uniforms, colors, and logos. This is truely a new era of baseball. I'm glad to be writing about the team again as the season draws closer. In my next article I will go over the starting position players, rotation, and bench.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

7/26 Dbacks @ Phillies


CFByrnes, Eric 13 37 .286

1BJackson, Conor 8 50 .262

LFGonzalez, Luis 9 47 .283

3BTracy, Chad 14 56 .279

CEstrada, Johnny 8 51 .320

RFGreen, Shawn 9 44 .301

2BHudson, Orlando 9 40 .271

SSDrew, Stephen 0 2 .282

PWebb, Brandon (11-3, 2.51)

Tonight's line up. When is Drew going to hit higher in the order?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tonight's Line Up 7/25 M. Batista V Ryan Madson

  1. E. Byrnes cf .288
  2. O. Hudson 2b .270
  3. L. Gonzalez lf .280
  4. C. Tracy 3b .278
  5. J. Estrada c .318
  6. S. Green 1b .302
  7. C. Quentin rf .444
  8. S. Drew ss .303
  9. M. Batista p .128
Once again, Bob Melvin benches Conor Jackson, in favor of Green at first and Quentin in right. Hopefully this doesn't last too much longer. It'd be nice if Gonzo was benched instead. That's a fact of life. Hopefully Cj is working with the hitting coach tonight and studying his swing in the clubhouse.

The Calm Before The Storm

As the trade deadline nears, there is a lot of speculation as to the moves General Manager Josh Byrnes will make. Who will go Green or Gonzo? Are they going to trade away any prospects? Are they going to trade for a number two starter? Will the buy? Will they sell? Will they stand pat with what they have?

The odds are Luis E. Gonzales will play everyday in left field untill the end of the season. There's a snowballs chance in hell that his 10 million dollar option will be picked up. This does not mean that he won't resign with the team and play a lesser role as a bench player. Gonzo has said that he wants to play everyday, and I'm sure there will be a team out there that will be stupid enough to do so. It's very unlikely that Gonzo will be traded before the trade deadline. A few teams have reportedly shown interest(Detroit, supposedly)But his No Trade Clause is certaintly the largest obstacle in moving him. Most likely, Gonzo would want his option for next year picked up, so some cash would have to be included in the deal. The PR backlash in moving the face of the franchise also would make moving him difficult. Gonzo low production is also yet another reason this move isn't going to happen.

A move of Shawn Green is more likely, but still quite difficult. His limited no trade cluase and salary make a move difficult. I think Green is the most likely to be moved all things considered. The Yankees have shown interest, and Green said he waive his clause for the Yankees. The Yankees are said to be in need of an outfielder, and are reluctant to trade the few good prospects they have like Phil Hughes. I'm sure we'd trade Green for a bag of balls just to make room for Carlos Quentin.

Then there's Jeff Davanon and Eric Byrnes. Byrnes is currently the most valuable player on the team based on VORP, and he's only signed to a cheap one year contract. Davanon is has an option for next year, and would certaintly be retained if Gonzo, Green, and Byrnes are all gone. He'd provide much needed veteran presence(I know, that term has been worn out in Arizona, but in small doses, it's an ok cliche) in a very young team. Byrnes is cheap enough that if we offer arbitration, and he accepts, it won't hurt the team too much. But most likely, he'll sign for a large contract, and we'll get a draft pick, maybe two.

Then of course, there's Craig Counsell. Every day that Stephen Drew gets a hit while Counsell is on the Dl, the more likely Counsell isn't going to win that starting job back. Byrnes could send him back down until the September Call Ups(So Drew could retain his rookie status until next year). But I think that is a very unlikely move. Drew has flashed excellent defense, the ability to hit, and even though he has yet to hit a homer, he's shown some power. Drew is also quickly gaining a cult following among the fans. All that said even if counsell doesn't win the starting job back, he'd be a useful veteran utility player to have on a very young team, and I think is definately worth resigning next year.

There are a few other candidates that could be traded for various reasons. After the Austin Kearns trade that Bowden pulled off last week, there is a heavy price for pitching and relievers in this years trade market. Byrnes could sell high on guys like Batista, Vizcaino, Lyon, and Jorge Julio. We could see a trade of lesser prospects like Chris Carter. I don't know.

Right now the problem is the illusion of contention. If the team trades away a Veteran GuyTM like Green or Byrnes, and playing a rookie like Quentin or Young, the casual fans will think the team is giving up on the pennant race. But fan attendance is so low right now it seems like it wouldn't matter.

I have no clue what will happen in the next week. We can guess and try to speculate what moves Josh Byrnes will make, but we don't know the moves Byrnes CAN make. I will be very surprised if Byrnes trades away from the talent pool, though.