For a five-game week (off days on Monday and Thursday), the last several days have been unusually tumultuous for the Diamondbacks. In a two game series against Tampa Bay, the offense broke out; but although Kirk Gibson’s squad carried the same lineup and offensive success through Friday, Saturday and Sunday were not banner days for the team. On Saturday, David Hernandez imploded again and was sent down to join Tony Sipp in Reno purgatory in favor of Eury de la Rosa. Eric Chavez went down with a combination of leg injuries, and was replaced on the roster by Matt Davidson.
The devastating part of the weekend was an injury to Cody Ross. Legging out a ground ball, Ross stumbled, and in attempting to catch himself without falling or slowing down, Ross landed awkwardly on his right leg, dislocating his hip. Arizona has yet to speak on the extent of Ross’s injury or the identity of his replacement on the roster, but with Davidson playing most days at third, one can expect Martin Prado and a re-energized Gerardo Parra to start most days in the corners, with Pollock and Eaton splitting time in center field. I’d also speculate that Eaton will get the starts in left when Prado fills in at third or second, although there’s no rule to prevent Gibby from starting Jason Kubel.
The Ross injury couldn’t come at a worse time. After a tepid start to the season, Ross had come on offensively, with a .301 AVG and .837 OPS in July and a .364 AVG, 1.049 OPS start to August. All season, Ross had offered an incredible defensive performance rivaling that of Parra. Despite losing playing time to the outfield logjam, in a mere 351 PAs, Ross was tied for 27th among NL outfielders with 1.8 WAR. As I noted above, both Eaton and Davidson will receive increased playing time with Ross and Chavez down, but Ross is difficult to replace. The situation is a strong reminder, however, about just how valuable it is to have Prado’s positional versatility on the team.
On to the links, although very little has been published to this point on the Ross injury:
- Arizona Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler filled in for Buster Olney at ESPN, writing on what Michael Weiner has meant for players as the head of the MLBPA. I absolutely agree: for all the deserved credit that Donald Fehr has gotten for helping to steer the modern version of the sport, Weiner’s impact has been enormous, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes.
- At azcentral.com, Zach Buchanan recaps the Sunday game and examines what the loss of Ross and Chavez mean to the team for the rest of the season. Earlier in the week, Nick Piecoro checked in on the surging Martin Prado and the contributions of Didi Gregorius.
- Jim McLennan at AZ Snakepit dug into the Hernandez demotion, with a very nice description of the situation. I also highly recommend McLennan’s breakdown of the Diamondbacks’ baserunning this season.
- At prestigeblogs.com, Chris Jackson takes a look at the remainder of the season in the wake of the weekend’s events. I agree completely with Chris on Ross’s value next season, and he and I are also on the same page regarding Eaton. I would humbly disagree on his somewhat bullish projections on Davidson and Chris Owings, however — I think both have a great chance to be average major leaguers, and that Davidson could be slightly more valuable than that, but I’m not sure that Owings should displace Gregorius, or that Davidson should be hitting cleanup (now, or maybe ever). I also think that Hill has more value to the team than he could bring in trade. Lots of good thoughts by Chris, so I recommend a careful read. If you’re interested in Chris’s take on lineup construction, also check out Jeff Wiser’s take.
- MLBTR’s Steve Adams takes a careful and enlightening look at the Matt Reynolds trade that netted David Hernandez and Kameron Mickolio.
- And last, but certainly not least, jersey-hunter Jeff Summers takes aim at his white whale.
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